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

 


Newman’s attack on employment statistics pathetic

Newman’s attack on employment statistics pathetic

The latest attack by Act MP Muriel Newman questioning the validity of official unemployment statistics has been labelled as pathetic by Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

Mrs Newman issued a media statement yesterday claiming that the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) used by Statistics New Zealand to determine New Zealand’s official unemployment rate is being abandoned in other countries, that New Zealand’s ‘true’ unemployment rate is considerably higher than the 4.9 percent figure released earlier this week and that the survey methodology also understates unemployment. All these statements are inaccurate.

Steve Maharey said with unemployment now reaching a 15-year low, opposition politicians have become increasingly desperate to wip up bad news stories, but Mrs Newman’s latest attempt is pathetic.

“Continuing employment growth has now delivered a 15-year low unemployment rate in New Zealand. Translated into jobs, the 4.9 percent unemployment rate means that 123,000 more New Zealanders are now in employment than when the Labour-led government took office in December 1999.

“The government is far from complacent at these results because we recognise that too many New Zealanders still lack the dignity of paid work. In addition eternal factors, such as a war in Iraq, clearly loom as potential threats to our economy.

“Frankly Mrs Newman’s claims have no validity: she claims that countries are abandoning the HLFS because of concerns about its validity. In fact the opposite is true. Policy in the European Union is to standardise the measurement on unemployment to the ILO guideline based on a HLFS. Countries are in fact moving to adopt the HLFS, as the United Kingdom has recently done; she claims that New Zealand’s ‘true’ unemployment rate is considerably higher than 4.9 percent by counting some people twice; she claims that using unemployment benefit statistics would be a more effective measure despite knowing that many of those receiving the unemployment benefit are working part time; and to top it all off

. . / 2 she claims that increasing the ‘hours worked’ requirement would double New Zealand’s unemployment rate. I am advised that even if you did count those who are working less than 10 hours per week it wouldn’t make much difference to the figures.

“However I am prepared to be charitable and concede that Mrs Newman might not actually understand survey methodology. My officials are due to brief the Social Services Select Committee next month on measuring unemployment. I look forward to sensible comments from Mrs Newman following the briefing,” Steve Maharey said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news