Sobering stats

08/05/2015

Finance Minister Bill English gave some very sobering statistics during question time yesterday:

Of course, the Government is focused not just on savings this year; we are focusing on intergenerational savings. If we resolve problems in complicated families and struggling communities, then we will be spending less in the long run. For example, 1 percent of the children born in 1990 had contact with Child, Youth and Family before the age of 5. They had parents who were in contact with the corrections system and had been in households supported by benefits for most of their lives. Thirty-six percent of people with these three factors will be on a benefit at age 35. So you know that pretty much from when they are born, compared with 9 percent of the general population. Almost 5 percent of this group will be in prison at the age of 35. Some of these individuals will cost around $1 million each, just in corrections, Child, Youth and Family, and income support costs , and that represents significant misery in families and communities. We will continue to change things in order to change their lives.

This is why the government has taken an investment approach to welfare – spending more in the short term to help people off benefits and into work which will improve their lives, those of their children and pay social and financial dividends in the medium and long term.

Unemployment is still too high at 5.8 %, but the employment rate has reached an all-time high of 69.6%.

. . . “This is the greatest share of New Zealanders we have ever seen in the labour force. The largest increase came from 20 to 34-year-olds, who accounted for nearly half this year’s increase,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.

Over the year to the latest quarter, the number of people employed increased 74,000 (3.2 percent) while the number of people unemployed fell 1,000 (0.6 percent), as measured by the Household Labour Force Survey. . .

That’s the fourth highest in the OECD.
New Zealand National Party's photo.


Immigration up, unemployment down

06/11/2014

One argument used by people opposed to immigration is that immigrants take jobs.

The latest Household Labourforce Survey gives the lie to that, showing that immigration increased while unemployment fell:

Rising employment is more than keeping up with our growing population, while unemployment has fallen to 5.4 percent, Statistics New Zealand said today.

“Due to strong migration, we have had the largest annual rise in the population in 10 years,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said. “We had 72,000 more people employed over the year, greater than the additional 64,000 people in the population. This pushed our employment rate up, to 65.2 of every 100 adults being in employment.”

“While employment has grown strongly, the picture for wages is mixed,” Ms Ramsay said. Annual wage inflation was 1.6 percent, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI). This is in line with the past four quarters. Although private sector wage inflation was 1.9 percent, growth in pay rates for the public sector has slowed to 1.0 percent.

The number of people employed has grown 3.2 percent since September 2013, in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Demand for workers from established businesses rose 3.0 percent in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) – the largest annual increase in over six years. . .

The construction industry accounted for almost half the annual employment growth. Just over 40 percent of the growth in this industry was in Canterbury, with a further 17 percent being in Auckland. . .

Employment had been lagging behind other economic indicators but now it is increasing as the population grows and unemployment is the lowest since 2009:

The HLFS shows an increase of 18,000 people employed in the September quarter and 72,000 over the last year as the economy continues to strengthen following the Global Financial Crisis.

“It’s very encouraging to see the increasing confidence of companies around the country as they build their businesses and hire more people,” Mr Joyce says.

“We’ve seen particularly strong recovery in the construction industry in the last year, which has grown by 33,500 jobs across the country.

“It’s also good news for Kiwis that real wages are steadily increasing faster than inflation. The Quarterly Employment Survey shows average hourly earnings up 2.3 per cent for the year compared to an inflation rate of 1 per cent over the same period.”

Other highlights include:

The lowest NEET rate for 15-19 year olds since June 2008 at 7.2 per cent.

Particularly strong employment growth in the South Island with 41,000 more people employed in the last year. The South Island unemployment rate is now 3.4 per cent compared to 6.2 per cent in the North Island.

Strong employment growth for women. The number of women in full-time employment rose by 12,000 in the quarter and the number in part-time employment rose by 3,000.

“The New Zealand employment story is one of steady recovery from the very tough days of the Global Financial Crisis,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Government will continue to focus on policies that encourage business confidence, investment and job growth right across the New Zealand economy through the Business Growth Agenda and our consistent macroeconomic policies.”

Photo: Our clear plan to grow the economy is working, with unemployment falling to the lowest level in more than five years. ntnl.org.nz/1qov7Ai #Working4NZ


Unemployment trending down

07/08/2014

Unemployment has been lagging behind other positive economic indicators but it is now trending down:

More people are working and unemployment has fallen to 5.6 percent according to the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand.

“We continue to see more people move into employment and although the participation rate has dropped from a peak last quarter, it is still at an historically high level,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said. “The unemployment rate fell from a revised 5.9 percent to 5.6 percent and is the lowest it has been since the March 2009 quarter.”

Annually, the number of people employed rose 3.7 percent in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Employment growth in Canterbury accounted for almost half of the total national employment growth over the year. In the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), demand for workers from established businesses rose 2.3 percent.

Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI) salary and wage rates (including overtime), increased 1.7 percent compared with annual consumer price inflation of 1.6 percent. Average ordinary time hourly earnings (QES) rose 2.5 percent over the year.

“Annual wage inflation edged up and this was driven by private sector annual wage rate growth of 1.8 percent – influenced by the minimum wage increasing 3.6 percent. Public sector annual wage rate growth was unchanged at 1.2 percent,” Ms Ramsay said. . .

National’s policies are working for New Zealand and resulting in more people working:

Unemployment has fallen to 5.6 per cent – its lowest level since the March 2009 quarter.

Today’s Household Labour Force Survey shows the number of people employed increased by 83,000 over the last year.

“These results show the continued strength of the New Zealand economy as we continue to recover from the twin blows of the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes,” Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.

“It is particularly pleasing to see young people benefitting from our economic growth with 11,300 more 15-19 year olds in employment in the last year. The  15-19 years NEET rate is down to 7.4 per cent in the quarter which is its lowest level since prior to the GFC in mid-2008.”

Other highlights of today’s HLFS release include employment for Pasifika people rising by 19.3 per cent in the past year – the largest annual movement since the series began in December 2007. The Maori employment rate is up 2.8 per cent over the same period.

New Zealand’s unemployment rate continues to be lower than most OECD countries and is now the 9th lowest in the OECD, and better than Australia, the US and the UK. The average unemployment rate across the OECD is 7.4 per cent.

Mr Joyce said today’s data also showed that wages continue to grow ahead of inflation with average weekly wages up 2.7 per cent over the year, compared with inflation of 1.6 per cent.

“The challenge now is to continue to build on this momentum so we have consistent and sustained economic performance that really lifts the opportunities for and incomes of New Zealanders over the longer term,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Government is continuing to work hard through its Business Growth Agenda to implement policies that encourage businesses across the country to invest and grow, and hire more people.”

 

Unemployment has fallen to 5.6 per cent in the June 2014 quarter as we recover from the Global Financial Crisis and Canterbury earthquakes, and with 170,000 more jobs forecast by mid-2018 it's projected to fall even further. ntnl.org.nz/1pBy9CR #Working4NZ
 

 

Unemployment has high economic and social costs for the individuals without jobs and the wider community.

Both the increase in the number of people in the workforce and the reduction in unemployment are good for the people involved and the country.

the trend is improving but there is still work to be done and it needs a National-led government to do it.

We can’t afford to change from the policies which are working for New Zealand and New Zealanders  to those promoted by Labour and the rag-tag bunch of wee parties it would need to prop it up in government.

They will increase the costs and complexities of employing people which will threaten existing jobs and put hurdles in the way of creating new ones.


Employment up

08/05/2014

Employment and labour force participation continued to improve in May while unemployment remained at 6%.

“We’re seeing more people in the labour market, with the participation rate surpassing the previous high in late 2008 before the downturn in the labour market,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said. “The rise in participation is on the back of more people in work, while the number of people looking for work remains unchanged.”

The labour force participation and employment rates both increased 0.4 percentage points over the quarter. “Employment continues to rise, with growth seen across a number of regions, industries, and demographics,” Ms Ramsay said. 

Annually, the number of people employed rose 3.7 percent in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Demand for workers from established businesses rose 2.6 percent in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES). 

Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI) salary and wage rates (including overtime), was 1.6 percent. This compares with annual consumer price inflation of 1.5 percent. Average ordinary time hourly earnings, as measured by the QES, rose 2.5 percent over the year. . .

 The latest labour market data shows continuing strong employment growth with 84,000 more jobs added to the New Zealand economy in the last year – the largest increase in nearly a decade.

“The latest results show the growing strength of the New Zealand economy,” Mr Joyce says. 

“While unemployment remained flat at 6.0 per cent, it was driven by a record labour force participation rate of 69.3 per cent. That compares with 64.7 per cent in Australia.

Highlights include:

  • Female participation rose to 63.7 per cent – a new record high.
  • Average ordinary time hourly earnings, as measured by the Quarterly Employment Survey, rose 2.5 per cent in the year. Inflation was 1.5 per cent in the last year, meaning New Zealanders’ wages continue to rise faster than the cost of living
  • Unemployment for Pasifika continues to fall – down 2.2 percentage points from a year ago.

New Zealand’s unemployment rate continues to be lower than most OECD countries. The average unemployment rate across the OECD is 7.6 per cent.

“Through our comprehensive Business Growth Agenda, the Government has a strong focus on creating the opportunities for competitive businesses to invest and employ more people.

“Our results so far are reflected in strong growth, increasing employment, an improved trade balance, stronger productivity growth, and real wages rising faster than the cost of living.”

An increase in employment and labour force participation while unemployment remains steady appears to be contradictory.

One explanation for that is that people who hadn’t been looking for work decided to and found jobs.

It could also reflect the return of people from Australia.
Photo: National's economic programme is working. http://bit.ly/1iVcOn0


Employment up, unemployment down

05/02/2014

Employment has lagged behind other encouraging announcements but the labour market is strengthening and unemployment has fallen to a three-year low:

The labour market continues to grow and unemployment has fallen to 6.0 percent, Statistics New Zealand said today. There were 24,000 more people employed in the December 2013 quarter, following an additional 28,000 in the September quarter.

Over the December 2013 year, the number of people employed rose 3.0 percent in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Demand for workers from established businesses rose 1.9 percent in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES).

“We’re seeing strength across the labour market, particularly in the industries that provide services,” industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay said. “The unemployment rate has been falling and employment rising for the last 18 months, with both now at levels last seen in early 2009.”

Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI) salary and ordinary time wage rates, remained steady at 1.6 percent in the December 2013 quarter. Average ordinary time hourly earnings, as measured by the QES, rose 2.9 percent over the year – up from 2.6 percent in the September quarter.

 

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says this is further evidence that the New Zealand economy is heading in the right direction.

“What is pleasing is the growth is right across the country and shows the Government’s responsible economic policies and comprehensive Business Growth Agenda is creating the opportunities for businesses to invest and employ more people.”
Highlights include:

  • The labour force participation rate increased 0.3 per cent to 68.9 per cent – the second highest since records began in 1986. Female participation rose 0.4 per cent to 63.4 per cent – the highest level since the HLFS began
  • The rate for youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) for 15-24 year olds fell 0.1 per cent to 11.3 per cent – the lowest rate since December 2008
  • Māori and Pasifika unemployment are both down. Māori unemployment rate was 12.8 per cent (from 14.8 per cent a year ago). Pasifika unemployment rate was 13.7 per cent (from 16.0 per cent a year ago)
  • Manufacturing jobs are up 6 per cent in the last year or 14,300 people.

New Zealand’s unemployment rate remains better than most OECD countries and is just behind Australia (5.8 per cent). New Zealand has a significantly higher employment rate than Australia because of our higher participation rate. The average unemployment rate across the OECD is 7.8 per cent. 

Wages continue to rise faster than inflation. Average weekly earnings rose 2.8 per cent in the last year, compared to inflation of 1.6 per cent.

“While steady progress is being made, as a country we need to remain focused on encouraging investment that will bring jobs, and higher incomes for New Zealanders and their families,” Mr Joyce says.

Six percent is still too high but the improvement is welcome and increased business confidence means it is likely to continue.


Employment growth requires confidence

10/08/2013

Statistics New Zealand helpfully released the full suite of quarterly Labour market statistics on the same day this week.

The labour market is showing signs of improvement, Statistics New Zealand said today. Employment is growing slowly and unemployment is down from a year ago, but up slightly since the start of the year. Wage inflation continues to be restrained. . .

Employment continued to rise in the June 2013 quarter, following a positive March 2013 quarter. Over the June 2013 year, the number of people employed rose 0.7 percent in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS), while demand for workers from established businesses rose 1.9 percent in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES).

“This growth in employment lines up with the moderate economic recovery we’ve seen. Employment was falling over 2012 while growth in economic activity was slower,” industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.

Employment growth continues to be led by Canterbury. “More people are employed in Canterbury, while we’re also seeing the number of hours worked rise across the other regions. This rise in hours outpaced the growth in employment in the rest of New Zealand,” Ms Ramsay said.

In the June 2013 quarter:

  • The number of people employed rose 0.4 percent, while filled jobs rose by 0.8 percent, after adjusting for usual seasonal patterns.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, up from 6.2 percent in the March 2013 quarter. 
  • Annual wage inflation was 1.7 percent.
  • Average hourly ordinary time earnings were up 0.2 percent over the quarter.

The unemployment rate for the June 2013 quarter edged up to 6.4 percent, down from 2012’s 6.9 percent average.

The number of unemployed grew but the number of people in employment grew faster.

There are still too many people looking for work but improving business confidence will translate into more jobs.

Some people think governments create jobs, they don’t.

Hon BILL ENGLISH: We get new jobs only when businesses do make the decision to invest another dollar and employ another person. Treasury noted that healthy levels of business confidence are translating into stronger hiring intentions and into investment intentions. Quoting from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research quarterly survey, Treasury notes that the labour market appears to be recovering, even though that recovery is gradual. A net 9 percent of firms intend to employ more staff over the next quarter—for instance, firms continue to report that skilled labour is difficult to find, particularly in Canterbury.

Governments can help provide the environment which makes doing business and employing people easier.

That is one of this government’s priorities because it’s businesses which create jobs.

To do that they need to have the confidence that their businesses can sustain the cost of wages and other expenses which come from employing people.


%d bloggers like this: