Thursday, 18 August 2016

Too few unemployed


Controversy in the Parliament this week as politicians accuse each other of lying.

It would be a rarer thing if they weren’t.

Labour’s Grant Robertson accused National of manipulating unemployment figures to make them look better.

In a media release Robertson, Labour’s finance spokesman, said National was “actively massaging official unemployment statistics” by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those using websites, such as Seek or TradeMe.

There was manipulation going on, but not any that Robertson was headline-hunting about.

Statistics New Zealand had certainly changed the way it measures unemployment to diminish the number actively seeking work. This, of course, makes the figure look better for any government, but there is every reason to believe they were simply bringing the measure into line internationally as they say they were, and zero evidence the Government encouraged it– and zero adduced by Robertson, who has now climbed down.

In short, he was lying.

But so too were National ministers in crowing that unemployment is down. There are still 131,000 unemployed, 26,000 more than when National took office, which an astute opposition politician would have poiunted out, and and honest govt politician would have acknowledged. Instead, knowing the figure had been adjusted downwards, these toerags instead claimed credit for a drop attributable only to a statistical change.

So they lied too.

How do you know when a politician is lying? Their lips are moving.

Why do you keep taking these entities seriously? Dunno. You tell me.

There should be more of them unemployed.



  1. Um, unemployment *is* down - it was down from the previous quarter, based on the previous quarter being measured in the same, updated method. See note to this effect here:

    The sensible interpretation of "down" is "from the previous measurement" not "from the 2008 election".

    So no, the government didn't lie and the drop is not down to statistical change.

  2. I wonder how they find out, for statistics, when I apply for a job on line.
    For instance, I apply to NZ First as Immigration Policy researcher.
    Would that be a work application, or would it go straight into the harmless sociopath list.


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