Posts by Keith Ng

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  • OnPoint: Quickfisk: Youth Unemployment, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    These must also be HORRIBlE RIGHTWING LIES from Statistics New Zealand and the OECD.

    Jokes! Just being facetious. For the record, I'm actually pro youth rates, and on the fence about 90-days in principle, but just see no evidence it's working.

    Look at unemployment rates by age and gender and look at the 15-24 age group, all persons. At 15.1% in Q1 2013, we’re now below the OECD average and falling.

    Are we talking about the same 90-days trial period? The one from 3-4 years ago? Because if youth unemployment hasn't moved for three years, and it just dropped for one quarter, it's astounding that you'd credit it - any of it, even as a contributing factor - to the 90-days trial. (Did you? Or is that just a HORRIBLE SOCIALIST LIE?)

    Also, it's a single data point. If we get two more quarters <16%, I will happily concede that youth unemployment is decreasing (still won't credit it to 90-days, for reasons above). Seriously - put it in your diary, I will eat my metaphorical hat and do it with a smile.

    In the year to March 2013, there was a large fall in unemployment for people aged 15–24 years (down 10,500). This fall can be largely attributed to a decrease in unemployed 20–24-year-olds (down 11,200). This was an atypical fall in unemployment, as the number of people unemployed for this age group usually increases during March quarters.

    And in the previous quarter, we had the highest youth unemployment rate since the 90s, and that was in a December quarter, which usually isn't the peak. Was that a sign that things were going very badly? This is why you don't look at single data points in isolation.

    My hunch is that the temporary shift in the peak has messed with the OECD's seasonal adjustments, which is why they're reporting a much larger faller than StatsNZ. Just a hunch though.

    Behind this was a rise in the number of young people outside the labour force who are studying (up 25,000). The number of both 15–19-year-olds and 20–24-year-olds in study rose – up 16,200 and 8,800 respectively.

    Correspondingly, you can see the *decrease* in the employment rates. More youth studying is definitely not a bad thing, but it's also not a sign of the labour market doing well, nor a sign that policies like 90-days trial are working.

    NEET rate declines

    Still not convinced that NEET is the right measure for measuring the success of 90-days trial. But FWIW, they behaved in the same way as youth unemployment - spiked in December, came back down in March, no long-term decline that we can see (yet).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Quickfisk: Youth Unemployment, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    a reducing ratio may be (relatively) good for young adults, but it is bad for older adults.

    Yeah - that's a particularly odd measure. It's definitely useful for distinguishing between youth-specific unemployment problems and general unemployment problems, but it definitely needs a lot of context or it's misleading.

    You're right about the "higher = good" next to "higher = bad" thing as well. I actually got it wrong on my first read, and it took a week while for it to click in my head. I don't think it's deliberate though - I think it's just how old-school data nerds roll.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Quickfisk: Youth Unemployment, in reply to John Holley,

    He was claiming (while attacking Helen Kelly) that the 90 day trial law had significantly cut the youth unemployment rate.

    Oh. That's easy then. That's fucking bullshit.

    Wish I hadn't bothered making all them graphs now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Quickfisk: Youth Unemployment, in reply to Rob Hosking,

    Che/Rob: Yes, NEET is important, but it's a sign of much wider disengagement, rather than a predominantly labour market issue. Also, NEET data only goes to 2011. (Not really sure why - it's just derived from the HLFS...)

    Rob: Deeply uncomfortable with the focus on OECD rankings/comparisons. True, we're not having a Euromeltdown. And true, we're doing well when compared with countries that are part of the Euromeltdown. But that doesn't mean we're *actually* doing well, and it doesn't mean that current policies are effective or successful - it just means Europe is having a shit time.

    The points about long-term unemployment is interesting - I'll look into that further. I know we have a very high rate of part-time work, but my understanding was that the spike happened during the Working for Families era, when a lot of stay-at-home parents reentered the workforce (incidentally, dragging average wages down). I don't know how part-timeness affects youth unemployment.

    But I think my central point remains - the unemployment rate, for youth or otherwise, hasn't significantly changed since the GFC.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: What Andrew Geddis Said, But…, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    However it would seem he has voted for it anyway.

    Well, he's a member of Cabinet, so he has to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_collective_responsibility

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: What Andrew Geddis Said, But…, in reply to Peter Graham,

    Does anyone know why the redacted parts couldn't be got by an OIA request?

    It's legally privileged - they don't have to provide it under the OIA.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Budget 2013: Bringing Down the…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Pretty sure I had to sign something to get a student loan. Marginally sure that something said that it was a loan, and that I had to pay it back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Budget 2013: Bringing Down the…, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Well, if they're successful in chasing them to the ends of the earth (as long as they need a NZ passport), then there's no point in staying in exile. And with the fixed repayment obligations (i.e. Not related to income!) it might even be cheaper for them to come back. Maybe.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: #WTFMSD: "Damning", in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    the traditional approach would have been to send a memo or email cc'd to everyone the sender can think of. This might well provide effective blame transference. But that's unfashionable nowadays.

    Ass-covering CCing never goes out of fashion. In fact, I imagine lawyers for the four people under the gun are looking pretty goddamn hard for those emails right now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: #WTFMSD: "Damning", in reply to Matthew Poole,

    That looks pretty damned searchable to me, if one had a spot of inside info.

    Those file names were from the case files server logs. The case file server itself was inaccessible. Most of my grabs were from the invoice server, which was unsorted and unnamed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

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