Monday, December 01, 2014

Unemployment rate: Only slightly above the post-2000 average, says Treasury

From Treasury's Monthly Economic Indicators:

I'm a visual person so straight away put a hinge at the intersection of the red line and the '09 grey skyscrapers, and rotated the skyscrapers through 180 degrees anti-clockwise. Pretty good fit.

(Scramble back to the early 1990s and the skyscrapers would have been half as high again.)

Hence Treasury observes,

" The unemployment rate is only slightly above its post-2000 average..."

Of course, to maintain a similar (14 year) average through post-2010 will take a great deal of improvement over the next few years. But statistics .... you can manipulate them to make any point you want to.

Suffice to say, most developed countries would die for a graph featuring a highest unemployment rate during the GFC of  less than 7.2 percent.


Jamie said...


If you are unemployed and not receiving the dole do you still show up on the unemployment figures???

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Theoretically. The official figure is derived from the Household Labour Force Survey which has a sample of 15,000 households who are questioned quarterly over a period of two years and the statistics are extrapolated accross the working age population.

"Unemployed: all people in the working-age population who, during the reference week, were without a paid job, available for work, and had either actively sought work in the past four weeks ending with the reference week, or had a new job to start within the next four weeks."

Numbers on benefits are here:

They don't match for a number of reasons, not least that the unemployed don't necessarily qualify for a Jobseeker benefit.
Which you may already know.