Thursday, October 24, 2019

MSD: no desired outcomes achieved

The MSD Annual Report has just been published.

No desired outcome achieved.

All against a backdrop of lowest unemployment in 11 years.

But wait. There's some good news. 

MSD has achieved greater gender diversity than the rest of the public service and NZ workforce:

Public too ignorant to own their own lives

Alex Penk from the Maxim Institute had an opinion piece regarding the proposed End of Life referendum, MPs are paid, and better equipped, to make these decisions,  published in Tuesday's DomPost.

My response:

I was surprised that 70 percent of the politicians who voted against a referendum were National MPs.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

RNZ badly skews benefit numbers

According to Radio NZ:
There are still 109,000 people in New Zealand on a benefit, out of work. Fifty-two percent of those people have either a disability, health or mental health issue; or are caring for someone who does.
Here is the current situation:

I have tried to understand how the RNZ reporter came up with the 109,000 statistic. One possibility is the reporter referred only to Jobseeker beneficiaries and excluded those working part-time; that someone gave her unpublished data.

However she includes in her definition those 'caring for someone' with a disability. They receive the Supported Living Payment (SLP) which appears  missing from her statistic.

It is true that 44% of people receiving the Jobseeker benefit have an injury or health or disability condition but it is expected they will return to work. Those on SLP are not expected to work though some do want to, to the extent that they are able.

Those relying on the Sole Parent Support (SPS) have also been totally ignored in her statistic. Today it is the norm for mothers with children to work. When their youngest is three SPS beneficiaries have part-time work obligation which many do not meet. So surely many in this group are also "on a benefit, out of work".

RNZ is a strange outfit. Note they include in the broadcast soundbites of Mike Hosking railing against growing jobseeker numbers then run a piece dominated by Carmel Sepuloni. It's like pro-government propaganda.

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.