Saturday, September 19, 2009

Children in workless HOUSEHOLDS

A commentor has taken issue with my post about the number of NZ children living in workless families. Apparently the European statistics were for households - not families. That was how the chart was labelled unfortunately. I didn't label it.

Here is another chart which is based on households. The data is not as up-to-date but shows essentially the same thing. The NZ proportion is high compared to many other European countries;


Anonymous said...

That's more like it, but I just found a more recent version, with NZ figures for 2008 - no change at 14 percent, second highest after the UK at 17 percent and similar to Belgium and Hungary.

See Perry (2009) Table J5 on page 124.

Perhaps you could replace the table in your post with the more up-to-date one.

Lindsay said...

Thanks. Harking back to your earlier comment, it is possible that NZ features more families/ families and individuals sharing households, given the ethnic make-up of the population. That would account for a larger difference between workless families and workless households.

Johnboy said...

You mean that it is true that 15 constitutes a family and all can fit in a three bedroom state house in some cultures?

Anonymous said...

The figure is certainly a bit higher in family-based data, according to another report on the MSD website. The data is from the census and it says 17% of children were living in families with no parent in work in 2006, down from 21% in 2001 and 25% in 1991, but still much higher than the 1986 figure of 10%. The table also shows trends by ethnic group.

See Table ES1.1 Proportion of children without a parent in paid work, by ethnic group, 1981–2006

Anonymous said...

Oops, the table says 10% in 1981, not 1986.

You wrote:

"it is possible that NZ features more families/ families and individuals sharing households, given the ethnic make-up of the population."

On the other hand, in some European countries, particularly southern Europe, household sharing is common. It's possibly more common than in New Zealand, where housing assistance is more readily available, allowing young parents to set up their own households. But I'm not going to look that up.

bez said...

Also note that Perry's report for this aspect is based on a small sub-group of the sample, i.e. there will be a substantial margin of error on this 14% number, on top of the problem with the family/household definition that Lindsay already pointed out. Especially the DPB sole parent family is highly likely to be found in a multi family or multi-person household, which increases the chance that there is a 'worker' in the household (and noting that this definition does not really indicate what many would really consider a 'worker').
All in all I think Lindsay's point was well made, there is a very substantial problem here, where we are clearly unique in having actively created a welfare dependent generation, growing up in an environment that will seriously reduce their chances of getting out of the welfare trap. These children of course also have higher chances of ending up in all sort of other nasty statistics. I think that is the real point, not whether we are talking 14 or 17%. (In reality my guess is that the actual numbers are now higher and more in line with the older census data, rather than the 2006 numbers, which were in the best economic environment).

Anonymous said...

Not at all surpising: NZ's hosing, dole, and DPB are the most generous in the world.

There is one simple solution of course: Stop the DOLE, DBP, and Housing "supplement"

Unlike stopping WFF - this can and should be done overnight!