Sunday, October 20, 2019

Duration on dole

Over at Kiwi Blog a commentor has posted on a discussion about the rising dole numbers:

I would suggest the problem is with the long term unemployed. According to this article 13.27% of our unemployed have been without work for a year or more. This puts us at the better end of the OECD spectrum and far ahead of a lot of European countries and the UK.
From what I’ve heard 90% of unemployed are reemployed within six months.
This would suggest that most people are out of work not because they want to slack around.

I like this kind of comment because it is at least backed up by a source. Trouble is another source, MSD, provides a completely different statistic. My response:

The top number is those who have been on the dole (Jobseeker benefit) for a year or less and the bottom number is for more than a year.
55% long-term unemployed
For all main benefits 71% for been dependent for more than a year.

I checked the source of the OECD data. It is as I expected the HLFS:
The length of time (to reference week) since worked for pay or profit. Duration of "Less than one month" refers to the duration of unemployment during the previous four weeks, including the survey reference week.
This is a sample survey and relies on self-reporting. It is also the source of our official unemployment rate. The publicly available data does not include that which the OECD is using.

But the commentor indirectly raises an issue which I mentioned to Mike Hosking. There will be people on the Jobseeker benefit who are working a few hours but not enough to get off the benefit completely.  This might account at least in part for the discrepancy between the two long-term unemployed percentages presented by two different sources.

No comments: