Back in November I wrote about a report in the DomPost describing the falling level of employment amongst women. It said women were bearing the brunt of unemployment as "10,000 lost their jobs".
I pointed out that as those women hadn't joined the ranks of the unemployed they had most probably decided to leave the workforce as they had two other sources of income - a partner and Working for families.
Today the coverage of the latest HLFS results says, Women especially moved out of jobs in the last six months of the year (note the change from "lost their jobs" to "moved out of"), possibly reflecting the introduction of Working for Families government assistance package in April.
Women were moving out of the workforce in big numbers, by 13,000 in the last three months of the year, driving down the overall "participation rate" - the number of people working as a percentage of the population.
So in a country that needs to lift its production the government has enticed women out of the workforce. That's no surprise. Means-tested benefits have always produced disincentives to work. The family benefit caused just this problem in the 40s.
And here's another thing. Where are all the women who moved off the DPB and supposedly into jobs? Perhaps they aren't showing up because most of them simply changed from being on a partial DPB to being on the In Work payment without changing the hours they work.
19 minutes ago