2017 – Ongoing jobless tally



Unemployment logo


Continued from: 2016 – Ongoing jobless tally

By the numbers, for this year;





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Unemployment Statistics* at a Glance



(*  See caveat below)


Caution: Official Unemployment Statistics


On 29 June 2016, Statistic NZ announced that it would be changing the manner in which it defined a jobseeker. This  so-called “revision”  would materially affect how unemployment stats were counted and reported;




Change: Looking at job advertisements on the internet is correctly classified as not actively seeking work. This change brings the classification in line with international standards and will make international comparability possible.

Improvement: Fewer people will be classified as actively seeking work, therefore the counts of people unemployed will be more accurate.

The statement went on to explain;

Change in key labour market estimates:

  • Decreases in the number of people unemployed and the unemployment rate
  • Changes to the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate range from 0.1 to 0.6 percentage points. In the most recent published quarter (March 2016), the unemployment rate is revised down from 5.7 percent to 5.2 percent
  • Increases in the number of people not in the labour force
  • Decreases in the size of the labour force and the labour force participation rate

When Statistics NZ ‘re-jigged’ its criteria for measuring unemployment in June, unemployment dropped from 5.7% to 5.2% (subsequently revised again down to 5.1%).

All  unemployment data from Statistics NZ should therefore be treated with caution. Unemployment is  likely to be  much higher than Statistics NZ figures indicate.





Statistics NZ: Household Labour Force Survey – Revisions to labour market estimates

Statistics NZ: Labour Market Statistics – June 2016 quarter

Trading Economics: New Zealand Unemployment Rate  to January 2017

Previous related blogpost

Lies, Damned lies and Statistical Lies

National exploits fudged Statistics NZ unemployment figures

Lies, Damned lies and Statistical Lies – ** UPDATE **

2016 – Ongoing jobless tally and why unemployment statistics will no longer be used





  1. Confessions of a taxi driver – or more appropriately a passenger in a taxi to its driver

    There goes a neo-lib to the core … and appointed in 2013.

    The good thing about surveillance (not tht there is much) is that it can work both ways – the tired polly or senior public servant letting lose with their various prejudices, versus the surveilled Jonathan Citizen who’s repeatedly told (with pointing finger), that with your roights cum risponsbilties.
    The bad thing is the polly or senior public servant is NEVER sanctioned, whereas Jonathan Citizen almost ALWAYS is.
    When you think about it, it’s not that smart really – if only because (as history has taught us), the natives will eventually get restless, and it just seems to me the longer it goes on – usually the more violent the inevitable outcome

  2. Unemployment or underemployment, employment should read 40 hours per week not 1 hour per week. How can someone who works 1 hour per week be classified as employed? How can you live, feed the family and pay the rent on $14.75 per week less tax.

    This Government and the Statistics Dept must think we are a pack of morons?

    • Indeed, Tamati. Which all makes unemployment statistics dodgy, to put it mildly.

      As matters stand with Stats NZ’s increasingly unreliable data, we simply have no way of telling how many unemployed and under-employed there are in this country. In reality, the percentage figures given by Stats NZ should be taken as a minimum. The real figure is most likely much higher.

      • Surley, learning about earth quakes would tell you more about employment than anything stats nz can dream up. And how we react to earthquakes is not rational at all. When we were talking about rebuilding Christchurch was those container shops meant to be permenant because i dont think there were meant to be permanent. It gave us a few years of breathing space but we didn’t actually address macro problems and we are still dealing with insurance companies that are sponsoring GDP growth.

        We emerged from the ruble clutching a pen, still submerged in a hustle for a couple of mil

    • it is actually worse than that it is 1 day in the 3 month reporting period and then various criteria about being paid or not . then the stats are from a fixed number of dwellings 16000 in fact not a total of the country, (you would think a winz like gvt dept would have true total figures), as an aside this smoke screen was the brainchild of a labour gvt and 1st enacted by labour

  3. Then the thought came: ‘Which of the all-the-same political parties offering their wares for this next chunk of three years is totally committed to creating a state with full employment at pay rates that let people prosper and be kind?

    That can create an employment-enterprise environment where job fillers can meet their needs for security and enterprisers can spread their wings?

    And, you know, not one name came to mind. Not one.

    So I guess lies, damned lies and Statistics will go on for a while longer yet.

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