Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Time To Review Measurement Of Unemployment

ACT Employment Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman is calling on the Government Statistician to back up the efforts of his counterpart in Australia and seek a review of the way the officially recognised measure of unemployment is calculated.

“The Household Labour Force Survey results are becoming increasingly divorced from reality because the survey methodology has not kept up with changing trends. The latest HLFS survey would have us believe there were just 104,000 people unemployed in the March quarter. Yet in March, official Government figures show that nearly 143,000 people were on the dole. Clearly this figure makes a nonsense of the HLFS survey result.

“The survey does not measure people who have registered as unemployed. It is a survey with a small sample of just 1 percent of the population – with the results extrapolated out to produce a figure purporting to be the number of people unemployed around the country.

“People who have given up looking for a job are not counted as ‘unemployed’, while anybody who has worked even one hour in a single week is labelled ‘employed’. This is patently ridiculous, as the Australian chief statistician has recognised.

“The ‘official’ measure has become so disparate with reality that the Australian chief statistician now wants anybody who has worked less than 10 hours in a week recognised as unemployed. Adoption of this here would more than double our rate of unemployment as measured by the HLFS and provide a much truer picture. I believe it is high time our Government Statistician considered supporting this stance.

“Department of Work and Income figures for February show that the number of people who have physically gone into a DWI office and registered themselves as unemployed is more than double the HLFS figure at nearly 210,000. This is not a sample survey – this is 210,000 REAL people. More worryingly still, the number of people out of work for over a year now stands at 105,000. We are developing a whole underclass of people who are trapped in a cycle of welfare dependency.

“The HLFS survey was applied here at a time when there was virtually no such thing as inter-generational unemployment. It simply does not measure people who have long ago resigned themselves to not looking for work and languishing on the dole.

“Steve Maharey will crow about the latest HLFS results. But he should instead, as he did in constantly in opposition, be studying the worrying registered unemployed statistics and acknowledging that we have a real unemployment problem in this country. The long term unemployed aren’t going away, we are just hiding them,” Dr Newman said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>


89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>


Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>


Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>





InfoPages News Channels