top of page

Subscribe Form

Thanks for submitting!

Search

LINDSAY MITCHELL: Chris Hipkins out of his depth on unemployment


The following exchange took place in parliament on Tuesday August 22nd:

____________________________________________________________________________

Christopher Luxon: Given, and by his account, the economy is doing great, why are there 55,000 more people on the jobseeker benefit than when Labour took office, including 8,000 more in just the last four months?

Rt Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: There are more people in New Zealand—that is absolutely correct. The New Zealand economy's fundamental indicators are looking more positive. Inflation is trending down, GDP growth is returning, and we continue to have record low unemployment. On this side of the House, we are unapologetic about our commitment to keep Kiwis in jobs. I note that's quite a contrast to members on the other side of the House, who are being quite open in their intention to increase unemployment.

Christopher Luxon: Why, then, if everything is so swimmingly great, are there 55,000 more people on jobseeker benefits?

Rt Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: As I've indicated, the population is, of course, larger, but we should also note that there are more people in the labour market.

___________________________________________________________________________


The following are the Jobseeker totals just prior to Labour assuming government, and the most recently available.


September 30, 2017 120,726


August 11, 2023 177,138


Jobseeker numbers are indeed up by at least the amount Luxon claimed. But Hipkins explanation, “the population is, of course, larger …” does not justify the difference.


A chart from MSD illustrates that in June 2018 4.1 percent of the working-age population was on a Jobseeker benefit. In June 2023 it was 5.5 percent. It will be slightly higher now. Yes, the population is larger, but so is the share that is on a Jobseeker benefit.




As well Hipkins said, “…we continue to have record low unemployment.”


Also not correct. From StatsNZ:




Unemployment has been creeping up since March 2022.


Looking at the chart you may start to scratch your head. Why were there far fewer people on Jobseeker benefits in September 2017 when the unemployment rate was bigger at 4.7%?


That is a highly technical question which StatsNZ deals with here. A diagram from their paper illustrates the two distinct groups: that from which the HLFS data is drawn, and beneficiaries. It’s the HLFS which provides the official unemployment rate. The potential for the two measures to get out of sync and even trend in different directions is obvious. For instance, if someone on a Jobseeker benefit is not required to look for work, they will not appear as unemployed in the HLFS.






The reality is the Labour government made it easier to get on a benefit and to stay on a benefit. The result is evident.


And the Prime Minister cannot bat it away with incorrect claims and excuses.




Lindsay Mitchell blogs here


2,651 views91 comments

91 Comments


It’s coming in October The suck up “Labour News Party Team “will be added to the Dole Queue

Like

tjalling.jonker
tjalling.jonker
Aug 24, 2023

first, chippy more or less confirms that more work-able folk move straight onto a benefit (jobseekers, in this case) when eligible.... (correlate population growth with increase in j/seekers?)

second, the hlfs was "adjusted" some time back to exclude people that had worked/were working just a few hours a week (?). i recall robertson announcing that. it was, supposedly, bringing nz in line with the hlfs criteria of the oecd.

correct me if i am wrong.


Like

Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
Aug 24, 2023

Do you really want to hear what is wrong with new Zealand?

Do you really want to hear the truth? Because here goes, and this may be my last post here, because I'm going to give it to you straight up what is wrong with this country

We have become dependent, on a state, that cares about their own self importance, self entitled complacency, and we let them take away the last vestige of independent thought and work ethics we once had to be replaced by the middle class and subsidizing them with Benefits, all to achieve their aim of keeping us in line, and not once has any government in the past 10 years valued the importance of w…


Like
Replying to

I agree !!

Like

Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
Aug 24, 2023

Jesus wept. High and mighty hipkins would be out of his depth in a puddle of dog piss, let's not forget that this moronic fucking cretin is somehow labeled as " Mr fixit". Well. He'd want to have a good yarn to a certain Steven Joyce about how to actually mend anything he gets his useless mits on, because he's been the minister of good for fuck all the last time I bothered to look. Everything was fine, until he " fixed it" . Fuck me. just full of shit, waffle and sausage rolls, and has perfected the art of deflection and obfuscation to a level even unseen by the yip-yip queen of garbage 🗑.

I'm going to be very…


Like
basilwnz
basilwnz
Aug 24, 2023
Replying to

Ah, pure poetry Aaron.

Like

basilwnz
basilwnz
Aug 24, 2023

This is our Prime Minister? I have this cartoon image of Hipkins standing on the corner of some Wild West town selling snake oil. At the rear of a small group of suckers are two red Indians. One looks across to the other and says "I think this fella speaks with forked tongue"

Like
basilwnz
basilwnz
Aug 26, 2023
Replying to

Ha. No wonder their bureaucracy has become so 'bloated'.

Like
bottom of page