Friday, November 12, 2021

Only 8,800 Kiwis unemployed for a year or more

The NZ Initiative this week released a paper arguing against introducing unemployment insurance. One reason advanced is that relative to other countries  NZ doesn't have a problem with long-term unemployment:

"Perhaps more importantly, long-term unemployment, that is, people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more, is also relatively low in New Zealand ... In 2020, long-term unemployed was only 8.9% of total unemployed in New Zealand."

Is that a surprise to you?

Their statistic comes from the OECD which in turn derives its data from the NZ Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS).

According to the latest September HLFS quarter supplementary tables (Table 4) only 8,800 individuals had been unemployed for over a year.

I summed the final row which shows a total lower than the reported 98,000 unemployed. The explanation is, "These categories will not sum to total unemployed due to the exclusion of unemployment durations not specific enough to fit into one of the stated categories." I take that to mean if  the respondent had been unemployed for 4.5 weeks for instance they couldn't be categroised. But 'over 1 year' is very specific so we can stick with 8,800.

Yet according to MSD Sept quarter benefit data tables, of 193,635 Job Seeker recipients 121,110 had been dependent for more than a year. 

Yes it is possble to be getting Job Seeker and working part-time. The following table is unfortunately a little dated but at the end of 2019 only 6.8 percent of Job Seekers were working part-time:

That leaves 93.2 percent not working.

The Job Seeker benefit is obviously ill-named as so many of its recipients are not actually seeking jobs. 98,000 officially unemployed versus over 193,000 Job Seeker beneficiaries (I  blogged earlier that many have no work obligations because they are too ill to work and would have previously been on the old Sickness Benefit).

But this latest anomaly regarding duration of unemployment is both baffling and absurd.

Furthermore the mismatch between Statistics NZ and MSD data is getting worse.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Ardern dead wrong

The Prime Minister says the thousands that descended on Parliament today are "not representative"  citing vaccination rates to support her claim.

Bollocks. Getting vaccinated does not indicate support for the government and their approach to Covid.

The march was an anti-government protest. It was anti lock downs and vaccination mandates, and whatever else each participant is holding against Ardern and her ministers. Look at the signs and listen to the chants.

If she truly believes that crowd isn't representative of a much bigger group she has lost touch with reality.

Monday, November 08, 2021

"Don't divide"

 This is a great initiative. While double-vaccinated I am deeply uncomfortable with coercion to comply and this presents a "middle ground" solution:

“Vaccine OR Testing” Campaign Launched

A family advocate and an educational leader (also a registered nurse with a PhD in aged care) are making a joint application to get a rapid COVID test authorised in New Zealand so that thousands of kiwis don’t lose their jobs on the 16th November under the Government’s proposed ‘no jab no job’ mandate.


A joint application has been made to import, distribute and use The Sienna Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test on behalf of workplaces, community groups, places of faith, and families who have workers or family members who with good conscience do not want to take the vaccine.


The rapid antigen test has been approved by the FDA. It is a self-contained Naso-pharyngeal test, needing no machine, is up to 99% accurate, takes 10 minutes to get the result, and affordable for those who don’t want to take the vaccine.


It will be the obligation of those not jabbed to provide proof of regular testing. This alternative approach will – as the FDA recently said - help meet the public health needs as we respond to COVID.


While both applicants have chosen to be double-jabbed and support the vaccination programme, they are justifiably concerned that New Zealanders may be excluded from their teaching or nursing job, or sporting career, or going to their marae, going to church or the mosque or the gym or hair salon, university to study, weddings, visiting family members in prison, attending events – and there are many other examples – because they have chosen out of good conscience not to be vaccinated.


We are looking for a reasonable and workable middle ground that doesn’t divide the country and set family members against each other.


A divided society with a ‘no jab no job’ mandate does not sit well with many New Zealanders – even those who support the vaccine programme. Unfortunately, under the current proposal by the Government, thousands and thousands of kiwis are going to lose their jobs in the next couple of weeks. It’s just not the kiwi way.


With new developments on treatments, the approach to COVID is constantly evolving. We need a cautious approach - but also flexibility as we learn more about the disease and treatment.


We have received support from teachers, education leaders, medical professionals, politicians, and church leaders from a number of faiths for this middle-ground approach.


An accompanying petition“Don’t Divide” has also been launched – “We oppose the ‘no jab no job’ policy, which will create a divided New Zealand. We call on the Government to allow the use of COVID rapid antigen testing as an alternative for unvaccinated kiwis to access workplaces, schools, maraes, large gatherings, and places of worship.


We call for an approach to COVID that targets the disease without dividing the country.



For More Information and Media Interviews, contact:

Dr Christine Clark

Mob. 027 499 0142    

Bob McCoskrie

Mob. 027 55 555 42