HLFS Dec 2012

February 7th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The December 2012 HLFS is out. Key points are:

  • Employment down 22,000 in quarter
  • Unenmployment also down 10,000 in quarter
  • Those not in labour force up 43,000
  • rate down from 7.3% to 6.9%
  • Under 20 unemployment rate up to 30.9%
  • European unemployment rate up 0.1% to 5.5%
  • Maori unemployment rate down 0.3% to 14.8%
  • Pacific unemployment rate up 0.4% to 16.0%
  • Asian unemployment rate down 2.0% to 8.0%
  • Primary industry jobs down 10,400, manufacturing down only 800, construction up 4,500

Pretty weak data. The Government will face real challenges if the employment situation doesn’t improve in 2013. However worth noting that the 6.9% unemployment rate is 14th lowest of 34 in the OECD and lower than Canada, UK and US. The OECD average is 8.0%.

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22 Responses to “HLFS Dec 2012”

  1. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    There’s something wrong with the survey – you just don’t typically get that level of drop in work force participation in such a short time.

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  2. Steve Wrathall (207 comments) says:

    All the more reason to dump the policies that we can no longer afford: WFF, 0% student loans, Super at 65…

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  3. berend (1,601 comments) says:

    Well, National is continuing Labour policies, so any surprise?

    And mind you, ,the data is actually much worse as John Key is borrowing from the future to mask his utter failure.

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  4. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    Under 20 unemployment rate up to 30.9%

    There’s the next group of motivated voters to be bribed. I wonder how much more of my income will be raided to fund the bids?

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  5. Manolo (12,624 comments) says:

    All the more reason to dump the policies that we can no longer afford: WFF, 0% student loans, Super at 65.

    Hear, hear.

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  6. mara (639 comments) says:

    Key is fairly dismal but the other lot of aspiring shysters is even worse. I worry.

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  7. wreck1080 (3,522 comments) says:

    Well with the dollar the way it is what do you expect?

    The only thing saving us from worse figures is the chch rebuild and the unemployed fleeing to Aussie.

    I forecast rising unemployment especially for the young.

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  8. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Those not in labour force up 43,000?
    Shuffling from dole to sickness benefit ?

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  9. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Griff yes your probably right. I deal a lot with unemployed people. Very few are on the unemployment benefit. Mostly sickness/invalid/single parent benefits.

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  10. lazza (296 comments) says:

    Best to look at long term smoothed data rather than chase the quarterly decimal point. The margins for error of this (large number) survey are significant, typically for some sub-samples as high as +/- 2%. The “high” result of 7.4% was it? … from the September 2012 quarter was widely viewed as being too high. This one, (with the “large” drop in one qtr) indicates that the Dec 2012 result is probably a shade too low. The last two qtrs average out at “around” 7%. The devil in the detail though, includes the regional data, this approachs double figures in some provinces … and of course the youth content at around 30%! and holding, a “real” figure?, certainly a real concern. Easy to aim for lower rates … or laudable rheteroic at say ” get it below 5.5%” . More likely/realistic longer term … high sixes or higher … a fact of life? Base policy and political chatter on that!

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  11. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Cheeehooo…Pasifika at 16% …We’re winning!!!

    Why is that?

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  12. duggledog (1,111 comments) says:

    Don’t know BWAV but in South Auckland they can’t get any Polynesian midwives for love nor money. I doubt it’s simply because they can’t pass the exams. Any ideas – is it a cultural thing? There’s some jobs right there!

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  13. Alan Johnstone (910 comments) says:

    Does the “not in labour force” figure reflect people taking early retirement ?

    I’d guess as baby boomers hit late 50s / early 60s this number will get pretty large

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  14. Alan Johnstone (910 comments) says:

    Why are racial stats gathered for employment anyway ? I don’t see any relevance to it.

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  15. swan (651 comments) says:

    “There’s something wrong with the survey – you just don’t typically get that level of drop in work force participation in such a short time.”

    Just got Tony Alexander’s weekly email – he agrees that the HLFS is no longer reliable for some reason.

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  16. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    I wonder why the Asian unemployment rate is half that of the Pacific people ?

    Asians face language problems and racial prejudice in a country of very foreign ways. So it is remarkable they are not “over represented” in negative social statistics.

    Any comment Black with a Vengeance ?

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  17. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    You Neolibs still think Key and English are doing a good job?

    No manufacturing crisis eh?

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  18. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Why yes Kea.

    Asians don’t suffer from Post Colonization Stress Dysfunction :)

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  19. cubit (356 comments) says:

    Could someone explain the methodology for arriving at the 30% rate for under 20′s. Methinks it is probably a question applied to people undertaking full time education but who would like to work as well.

    Does it mean that 30% of under 30′s are on a benefit?

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  20. alloytoo (337 comments) says:

    » Those not in labour force up 43,000

    The lame and lazy like their summer holidays too?

    I know a few people who’ve looked for work lately, they’ve looked, they’ve found (sometimes multiple jobs).

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  21. HC (130 comments) says:

    @ Griff:
    “Those not in labour force up 43,000? Shuffling from dole to sickness benefit ?”

    You obviously have not been informed about this ‘Future Focus’ policy this government brought in during 2010 and after, which includes work testing sickness benefits.

    Also do you not seem to know that since 2007 even, under the last Labour led government, there has been a anything but objective and reasonable “Principal Health Advisor” called Dr David Bratt working for MSD and WINZ, managing and “mentoring” not only Regional Health Advisors and Regional Disability Advisors, but also directly “training” GPs as their selected “designated doctors”, to apply a regime for sick and disabled, which is anything but lenient or fair.

    It raises questions of law, when a government agency tries to start trying to influence supposedly “independent” medical professionals, to make decisions that MSD and WINZ “expect”. Now, as far as I know, ACC never went that far.

    Dr Bratt is known for his staunch, bizarre claims and comparisons, where he likens benefit dependence to “drug dependence. Now perhaps you “agree” with such mental diversions from reality, but I think that alone will discredit your presumption that a government would allow unemployed to so conveniently “choose” to shift onto a sickness benefit.

    See this perhaps (especially pages 3, 16 and 33):
    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf

    There is more to be found under Doctor David Bratt via Google or other searches.

    The new employment and unemployment numbers should give serious reason for concern, as there are not the jobs that are needed, so too many are resigning to the fact to stay in study or perhaps leave the country for Australia. Christchurch alone will not fix the economy and employment, I am afraid.

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  22. HC (130 comments) says:

    To “alloytoo”:

    “» Those not in labour force up 43,000

    The lame and lazy like their summer holidays too?”

    Same as to “Griff”, it appears you have an impression that there is widespread malignering and so going on, so it is easy for people to “choose” to be sick or disabled. Perhaps inform yourself about what has been going on at MSD and WINZ over the years, and what a so-called Dr David Bratt, a staunch “pro work ability” focused ‘Principal Health Advisor’ at MSD has been doing since 2007. The ACC Forum have some information on that man that may give you some needed enlightenment:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/12615-dr-david-bratt/page__p__131480__hl__%2Bdavid+%2Bbratt__fromsearch__1#entry131480

    Bratt is also known for following the ideas of a Professor Dr Mansel Aylward from Cardiff University, where he is heading a special department, that has partly been financed by highly controversial insurance company Unum, and as former Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Work and Pensions in the UK he brought in a medical testing regime for sick and disabled, that has been highly controversial and over the years even led to many suicides. Now that kind of system is what your beloved government here is wanting to introduce to NZ also:

    http://www.politicus.org.uk/news/new-zealand-%E2%80%98britishstyle-work-tests-concern%E2%80%99-tests-were-developed-by-disability-%E2%80%98expert%E2%80%99-prof-sir-mansel-aylward_1833

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