Friday, February 08, 2008

unemployment falling

Stuff has reported that unemployment has fallen to a record low.

And it is wrong - kind of.

Numbers on the Unemployment Benefit haven't fallen since September, but the unemployment rate has fallen to a record low as more non-beneficiaries are entering the workforce- students, housewives (to support their partners in a low-wage economy), prisoners and immigrants. Those coming off jobs and other benefits and onto the dole are not even matched with those coming off the dole into jobs and onto other benefits .

According to the MSD, at the end of December 270,000 were receiving a benefit, up from 263,000 in September, and 261,000 in June.Of those, according to the MSD's fact sheets, in December, 23,000 were in reciept of an unemployment benefit, the same as in September and in June. The reason there is a 2000 reduction in unemployment numbers in the past month is because of seasonal work. Ironically the number of people entering work during the last quarter was a net of 23,000 - the same number as the dole figure. Thats because 26,000 women entered the workforce - lots of students competing degrees - and 3000 few men did.

So, according to the MSD, unemployment has not reduced since June, but 9,000 more people are on benefits.

The unemployment rate may be a record low because more housewives, students and immigrants are entering work than those coming off the dole.

Unemployment benefit numbers have remained constant, but should fall substantially in the current quarter as unemployed students get jobs. However dpb numbers have increased by 1,000 every quarter since June, the invalids benefit numbers increased by 10,000 since June, but sickness benefit numbers increased by only 1000 because so many of those on the sickness benefit were transferred to the invalids benefit.

We know why the Government loves Household Laboure Force Surveys - it can crow about the participation rate. It wants more immigrants and those who conduct non ecomomic tasks - such as stay-at-home mums - to inflate it. Just don't buy the line that successful Government benefit-reduction policies lead to a higher participation rate.




Blogger lurgee said...

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February 7, 2008 at 11:16 PM  

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