Sunday, July 19, 2015

Union says "half": Labour says "one in five" - who's fibbing?

Last week I blogged about this CTU research from Bill Rosenberg

Only half of people get jobs when leaving a benefit

“New data obtained by the CTU shows that less than half of people who come off a benefit are known to have obtained work,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “In 2014, MSD records show only 46% obtained work. We therefore cannot assume that falling benefit numbers means people coming off benefits found work.” The data was released to the CTU last month by the Ministry of Social Development under an Official Information request.

“Even adding on the 11% going into full time study means that as many as two out of five people leaving benefits aren’t going into work or study,” says Rosenberg.

The percentages in the past are comparable.

If we ignore transfers to other benefits or Super (I included them in earlier calculations) the percentages of working age people who left a benefit for work were

2006/07 48%
2005/06 48%
2004/05 50%
2003/04 48%
2002/03 48%

On Friday, after June benefit numbers were released, both Labour and the Greens joined the clamour. Labour says it has no data of its own. Carmel Sepuloni says the government is holding it back.

Come on Tolley, show us the jobs
The Social Development Minister has once again failed to provide evidence supporting the Government’s claims a fall in benefit numbers is due to beneficiaries finding work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Anne Tolley’s today touting the fact there’s been a 2.8 per cent drop in the number of people on benefits in the past year. “What she conveniently fails to mention is the reasons for why these people have come off the benefit. “Recent data showed only about 20 per cent of those who are no longer on their benefit went into work. On top of this, the Government considers just a few hours employment as moving into work.
And the Greens are claiming 

Benefit numbers no reason to celebrate
The latest figures from the Government about getting people off benefits don’t translate into more jobs for New Zealanders, the Green Party says.
Benefit numbers from the Government show that although fewer people are receiving welfare, the number of cancelled benefits as a result of “Obtained Work” has also dropped.
“National needs to show their heavy-handed sanction-based approach to welfare is actually getting more people off benefits and into work. The numbers suggest it is not.” Green Party Social Development spokesperson Jan Logie said today.
“These figures show that two out of five people who are coming off benefits are going into work or study. The Government has no idea what is happening to three out of five people who are coming off benefits.

I'd trust Bill Rosenberg over Carmel Sepuloni but even he hasn't released the full information. For instance how many people left the benefit because they found a partner, or left the country, went to prison  or even passed away?

What I want to know is why doesn't the government just release the data?

It was regularly released in the past in the annual statistical analysis which seems to have fallen by the wayside. On the face of it, if the CTU data is correct, this government's performance is possibly better than Labour's; probably on par.

Over the years it has become apparent that many statistics  describing behaviour in and around benefits are quite static.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

It's ok. The government will keep bringing in immigrants to take Kiwi's jobs. Kiwi's don't need jobs. I know of a delivery job that just went, minimum wage, had 76 applicants.

In fact all Kiwi's should take the hint and p*ss off to Australia - you are no longer wanted or needed. These lands are now claimed in the name of The Peoples Republic Of China. All dissenters will be shot