NBR calls Russel out on his porky


“There’s no signs of clawing back any of the 40,000 jobs lost in the sector since 2008.

Rob Hoksing at NBR fisks this claim:

Manufacturing has lost 40,000 jobs, Green co-leader Russel Norman proclaimed yesterday when the latest manufacturing data came out.

He might be right – if you go back to the late 1990s.

However, Dr Norman claimed the sector had lost 40,000 jobs since the current government took office at the end of 2008.

We’ll call that bogus and leave readers to use shorter or pithier epithets if they so wish.

So who is right? Russel Norman or Rob Hoksing?

The full-time equivalent employee numbers, which are included in Statistics New Zealand’s quarterly employment survey, show 18,000 fewer working in the industry over the past 17 quarters since National took office. 

The previous 17 quarters show a 16,700 drop. Remember this was also, mostly, prior to the global financial crisis, in a much more different – not to say optimistic – environment.

The filled job figures, also contained in the quarterly employment survey, show a 20,400 fall in jobs in the most recent 17 quarters, and 18,300 in the equivalent previous period.

So if you go by the QES, Norman is out by over 100%.

The official unemployment measure, the household labour force, shows a much larger difference.

 The number of people employed in manufacturing fell 9400 since the change of government. The previous 17 quarters shows a loss of more than double that number of jobs, by 19,900.

And from the HLFS stats, Norman is out by 300%.

All these figures paint the same picture with a slightly different emphasis: the sector has been employing fewer people for a long time. 

They also show Dr Norman is just making numbers up. 

Making a lot of things up lately to manufacture a crisis in manufacturing.

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