Monday, September 04, 2006

One in four Maori on benefit

An article in the DomPost business section today, by Rob McLeod, reminds us that when general unemployment was over eight percent there was much hand-wringing. Yet Maori unemployment is still that high despite having dropped considerably.

Which prompted me to check how high their overall benefit dependency rate is.

I am relying here on estimates from 2005 (roll on the Census releases). In the 18-64 age group there are around 347,000 Maori (a slight over-estimation due to relying on five-year age bands balances a slight under-estimation due to being a year old).

At the moment 86,893 18-64 year-old Maori are on a benefit or 25 percent. The Pacific rate is about half that and the non-Maori or Pacific rate around 8 percent.

I suppose we should adopt the glass half full approach and celebrate 3 in 4 Maori not being on a benefit!

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