Labour once again stands accused of putting the worst possible spin on youth education and training, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.
“The reality is that the latest HLFS shows that just under 80 per cent of all 15-19 year olds in New Zealand are enrolled in education or training, with the total numbers up from 238,000 to 243,000 in the last quarter,” Mr Joyce says.
The survey shows that the number of young people who are both unemployed and not in education is 15,000. While this is still too many, it represents only 4.8 per cent of the total cohort of 310,000.
An important point to note is that the headline HLFS unemployment percentage for 15-19 year olds is unusual in that it excludes the high number of young people who are in education and not in the labour market. . .
Any unemployment is concerning and youth unemployment is particularly so. Young people who go onto benefits without having worked are more likely to stay on them longer.
But the 30.9% is that Young Labour is shocked about is the percentage of people not in work which is a different and not nearly so shocking statistic.
When they get over their shock, Young Labour might like to ponder on the fact that youth unemployment increased when the then-Labour led government abolished youth rates.