Unemployment at record low (again)

Written By: - Date published: 1:14 pm, February 7th, 2008 - 18 comments
Categories: economy, workers' rights - Tags: ,

From Stuff:

Growing numbers of women in the workforce pushed New Zealand’s unemployment rate down to a new record of 3.4 per cent in the December quarter.

The rate dropped 0.1 of a percentage point from the September quarter, which itself had been the lowest unemployment rate recorded since the Household Labour Force Survey started in 1986.

Strikes me that as this trend continues the Nats will increasingly struggle to get traction with the argument that the drop in benefit numbers is illusory.

With more people in work, fewer people need the dole.

unemploy small

18 comments on “Unemployment at record low (again) ”

  1. AncientGeek 1

    Oh they’ll always come back with that insane argument about everyone moving to the sickness benefit. Even when the number don’t support it.

    Trying to remember how long I’ve heard that as unemployment steadily reduced over the last 8 years.

    Some kind of urban myth for the credulous…

  2. Billy 2

    So all_your_base,

    Care to explain why the good economy is all Labour’s doing, but all social problems are as a result of benefit cuts made in 1990 (and not reversed by Labour in nine years of government).

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    Billy. 8 years. Clearly.

    I thought it was only Mr Key that couldn’t count.

    Governments’ actions have long-term ramifications and often have a long lag time. The social consequences of bad policy often cannot be completely undone. Some of today’s teenagers were damaged by growing up under National in jobless households, with slashed benefits and rising crime. All the jobs, higher wages, and better education in the world will not alter that fact. The damage National did in the 1990s will still have echoes decades from now.

  4. Tane 4

    Oh they’ll always come back with that insane argument about everyone moving to the sickness benefit. Even when the number don’t support it.

    Yeah I’ve got the numbers on that sitting on my computer, just haven’t had the time to graph them and put it together in a post. We’ll get there eventually though… suffice to say people who run that line are just making shit up.

  5. r0b 5

    Speaking of possible future posts, I thought this was an interesting development:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4391516a10.html

  6. AncientGeek 6

    Billy: You should rephrase your question.

    Some quotes from the wikipedia articles on
    Major Changes to Social Welfare in New Zealand
    Ruthanasia

    In the early 1990s the fourth National government embarked on a free market programme aimed at reducing state spending and ‘dependence on the state’. Welfare benefits were drastically cut, and ‘user-pays’ charges were introduced for many formerly free public services. These policies were widely known as ‘Ruthanasia’ after Finance Minister Ruth Richardson, although the welfare portfolio was managed by Social Welfare Minister Jenny Shipley.

    The impact of these changes was particularly pronounced as the unemployment rate was high due to the 1987 stockmarket crash and the cost-cutting programmes of the previous fourth Labour government, which had reduced the staff of many state services such as New Zealand Rail. The cutbacks have been partially reversed by the fifth Labour government, but inflation means that in real terms benefits are still lower than before the cuts.

    Ruthanasia was controversial as the National Party had fought the 1990 election on a manifesto promising “The Decent Society” and implicitly repudiating the radicalism of the fourth Labour government. The Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, defended the move in his memoirs on the grounds that he had been badly misled in the runup to the 1990 election as to the actual state of the New Zealand economy.

    Ruthanasia came to an end after the 1993 election, when National’s majority was reduced from 18 (out of 99 seats) to 1. Bolger responded by replacing Richardson with Bill Birch.

    I think you should ask the question – why didn’t national or labour reverse the benefit cuts on 1991?

    The problem was that they’d have had to increase taxes to do it. National wasn’t prepared to do so bearing in mind that Ruthansia’s main effect had been to plunge NZ into a long-term recession. Instead they chose to allow inflation to keep driving the unchanged benefit levels even lower, while also driving down wage rates.

    Effectively they targeted the weakest, poorest members of society and ‘fixed’ a short-term budget problem by screwing them. This is from the party that campaigned that they were bringing “a decent society”. Now Key is hypocritical enough to try to campaign because the results of that screwup by the National party are screwups.

    Labour since 1999 has been steadily bringing the benefit levels up. But the priority has been on reducing the number of people that the nats put on benefits due to their other policies in the 90’s.

  7. AncientGeek 7

    rOb:

    I heard that on the radio. It does make more sense with their voters than getting in bed with the blues. But you really have to look at where their voters came from. Ummm I did a comment on that elsewhere. AncientGeek’s comment on maori roll voters.

    Exactly the same things apply with a brown/green and a brown/blue – there isn’t a lot of support in their electorate as expressed in voting patterns. I could probably go back to the 2002 election and look at how many voted green then – but I know it was similar to the 2005 level – insignificant.

    A working arms length alliance may be politically possible with the greens and not hurt the MP with their voters. I surely don’t think that a blue alliance of any kind will do anything apart from destroy the MP.

    Sounds like people floating ideas. If nothing else, it is useful for later bargaining.

  8. Pablo 8

    I think if the Greens can convince the Maori Party to abstain on confidence & supply, Labour would be over the moon. Obviously the dead rat for Helen there is the F&S legislation, but the recent development with Ngati Porou(?) might be signifying an attempt to rebuild those bridges without actually swallowing. I’d be amazed to see the Maori Party in formal coalition with either party, but to use their leverage in a way similar to how the Greens use theirs at the moment.

  9. dave 9

    All your base,
    care to explain the difference between a reduction in unemployment and a reduction in the unemployment rate?

    If more women enter the workforce because their partners income is too low due to our low wage economy, most dont come off the dole. If the number of extra workers from non economic activity, immigration or study are more than the number of people in full time work off the dole, less those entering the dole, the unemployment rate yas decreased but unemployment numbers havent necessarily..

    And the Government did not say that unemployment has decreased. Because it hasn`t.

  10. AncientGeek 10

    Dave: I just read your comment 3 times. It is still unclear to me what you’re asking and/or what your point is.

    Could you please rewrite it so it is a easier to figure out what you are asking or what your point is?

  11. AncientGeek 12

    dave: Looked at the link.

    I still think you’re confused. The figures reported in the stuff article that all_your_base was talking about are for the Household Labour Force Survey.

    What your link is doing is saying that there is a little or no difference in the number of people who are receiving the unemployment benefit. But that isn’t what the HLFS measures. It looks at participation in the workforce.

    Have you ever looked at the Phillips curve

  12. dave 13

    Ancient Greek. I agree. the HLFS will not tell you whether unemployment has increased or reduced – just the rate of unemployment. Which Is what I have said. Butthe point I was arguing against was this:

    With more people in work, fewer people need the dole. That statement is obviously false if more people are in work and the same amount of people need the dole. As is the case at present.

  13. dave 14

    .. Therefore unemployment is NOT at a record low.

  14. AncientGeek 15

    Dave: You have to remember that the economic reason to have an unemployment benefit at all is to ease economic transitions.

    As an economy adjusts and changes, you’d expect that people for one reason or another get laid off or are unable to enter the workforce because their skills (or lack of) are not in demand. If there was no unemployment benefit then people would get stuck in a poverty trap they got unemployed and their savings ran out. Apart from anything else, they wouldn’t be able to afford to move to where employment was.

    I haven’t looked at the latest HLFS, but I’d recommend a look at Part 3 of the Labour Market Stats 2005. It is a bit old now (but it was the last one I looked at closely), but the trend has continued. I’m sure someone can point to the equivalent in the unemployment benefits paid area.

    In particular table 3.04 on the duration of people being unemployed in the totals section. What that shows is the rapid reduction in long term unemployed and a movement to transitional unemployment.

    Incidentally have a close look around 1993 at national generating long-term unemployed, realising their mistake, and starting to try and correct it. That was a NZ phenomenon – most of the rest of the world was having very good employment around that time. Then have a look after 1999 when a real effort was being made to generate jobs rather than relying on the market to magically do it.

    This table is also interesting. Relative unemployment rates between countries

    I’m sure that people who are into this stuff could do a better find of finding the relevant data than I did in a 10 minute effort.

  15. AncientGeek 16

    Oh I forgot to mention why I pointed to the Philips curve earlier.

    It was there to annoy the ardent leftists. I don’t like having full employment, Last time I saw it was in the early 70’s where it was hard to keep employees for more than a few months. They’d barely become productive and then they’d leave – an impossible situation for employers.

    Also look up natural rate of unemployment, NAIRU, various variants of general equilibrium, etc…. There are endless arguments about it all, but my take on it says that full employment generally shows there is something structurally wrong with an economy. So does having long term unemployed.

    An economy is probably working well where people are on unemployment benefits for less than a few months on average. Shows that the labour market is adjusting to change.

  16. dave 17

    An economy is probably working well where people are on unemployment benefits for less than a few months on average
    Over the long run. Meaning as long as they are not transferred in and out of training and sickness benefits and then stuck on the invalids benefit for months like thousands of 16-17 year olds.

    when a person is on the unemployment benefit for three months, training benefit for 13 weeks, then unemployment benfit for 3 weeks, sickness a benefit for 3 week and back onto the unemployment fbenefit for 2 months ( it happens) the MSD logs it as on the unemployment benefit for two months, when in reality that person is a long termer.

    Also, about a third of those coming off the dole are back on it in six months.

    I do agree with your comments on NAIRU and full employment.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford will head to the United Kingdom this week to participate in the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) and the 2024 Education World Forum (EWF). “I am looking forward to sharing this Government’s education priorities, such as introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum, implementing an evidence-based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Education Minister thanks outgoing NZQA Chair
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford has today thanked outgoing New Zealand Qualifications Authority Chair, Hon Tracey Martin. “Tracey Martin tendered her resignation late last month in order to take up a new role,” Ms Stanford says. Ms Martin will relinquish the role of Chair on 10 May and current Deputy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement of Christopher Luxon and Emmanuel Macron: Launch of the Christchurch Call Foundation
    New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and President Emmanuel Macron of France today announced a new non-governmental organisation, the Christchurch Call Foundation, to coordinate the Christchurch Call’s work to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.   This change gives effect to the outcomes of the November 2023 Call Leaders’ Summit, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Panel announced for review into disability services
    Distinguished public servant and former diplomat Sir Maarten Wevers will lead the independent review into the disability support services administered by the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha. The review was announced by Disability Issues Minister Louise Upston a fortnight ago to examine what could be done to strengthen the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes Police gang unit
    Today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of a National Gang Unit and district Gang Disruption Units will help deliver on the coalition Government’s pledge to restore law and order and crack down on criminal gangs, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says. “The National Gang Unit and Gang Disruption Units will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric towards New Zealand and its international partners.  “New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-05-23T19:49:18+00:00