A new Roy Morgan poll has un-employment in New Zealand steady at 8.5%, with a further 11.3% under-employed. Collectively, 19.8% of the workforce (519,000 people – up 69,000) were either unemployed or under-employed. For the December Quarter 2013, according to Roy Morgan:
Gary Morgan, of Roy Morgan said,
“The latest Roy Morgan New Zealand December Quarter 2013 employment figures show New Zealand unemployment at 8.5% (unchanged from September Quarter 2013). However, New Zealand under-employment – those working part-time but looking for more work – has jumped to a record high 11.3% (up 2.7%). It should be noted that this is the fourth year in a row that under-employment has increased in the December Quarter. However, this year’s increase is substantially larger than in previous years and must represent a major concern for Prime Minister John Key seeking re-election.
“This means a total of 19.8% (up 2.7%) New Zealanders are either unemployed or under-employed – almost identical to the figure earlier last year in the March Quarter 2013 of 19.9%. Total New Zealand unemployment and under-employment is also significantly higher than when Prime Minister John Key won the 2011 Election (19.0%). Key clearly needs to reduce unemployment and under-employment during 2014 to have a strong chance of winning re-election to a third term in November.”
Bearing in mind that Statistics NZ defines being employed as anyone working one hour or more, per week, whether paid or unpaid, and it becomes apparent as to why unemployment/employment statistics in this country are skewed towards the low end. Statistics NZ is simply not presenting us with a real picture of unemployment.
This, of course, suits governments of either hue, whether National or Labour-led.
Roy Morgan further explained how their polling was conducted;
“The Roy Morgan New Zealand Unemployment estimate is obtained by surveying a New Zealand-wide cross section by telephone. An unemployed person is classified as part of the labour force if they are looking for work, no matter when.
The results are not seasonally adjusted and provide an accurate measure of monthly unemployment estimates in New Zealand. The Statistics New Zealand Unemployment estimates are obtained by mostly telephone interviews.
Households selected for the Statistics New Zealand Labour Survey are interviewed each quarter for up to two years (eight interviews), with one-eighth of the sample being replaced each quarter. The first interview is conducted face-to-face. Subsequent interviews are then conducted by telephone.
Statistics New Zealand classifies an unemployed person as part of the labour force only if, when surveyed, they had actively sought work in the past four weeks ending with the reference week and were available for work or had a new job to start within the next four weeks.
Statistics New Zealand Unemployment estimates are also seasonally adjusted. For these reasons the Statistics New Zealand Unemployment estimates are different from the Roy Morgan Unemployment estimate.
There is a similar divergence caused in Australia’s ABS Unemployment estimates and the Roy Morgan Australian Unemployment estimates. Roy Morgan Executive Chairman Gary Morgan’s concerns regarding the ABS Unemployment estimate are clearly outlined in his letter to the Australian Financial Review, which was not published.”
No doubt National/ACT supporters will find little joy in these figures and will casually dismiss them as unreliable or some other reason.
But one suspects they will sing a different tune when a Labour-led government is installed later this year, and Roy Morgan polling continues to show higher-than-official unemployment statistics.
At the point the Right will suddenly “discover” Roy Morgan.
Note: The Household Labour Force Survey for the December 2013 quarter will be released on 5 February 2014.
Statistics NZ: 2013 Census QuickStats about national highlights
Statistics NZ: Household Labour Force Survey: September 2013 quarter
Statistics NZ: Definitions – About the Household Labour Force Survey
Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen
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