Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Youth unemployment falls - but more stay on benefits for longer

Newstalk ZB has said that a Labour Department survey has found more young people are in work and their average wages are increasing. They conclude that youth unemployment - those aged 18-24 - is falling because in 2002, youth unemployment made up 28 percent of the dole, but now it is only 18 percent. So why dont they survey actual youth unemployment - ie: 16/17 year olds? Because it is rising, that's why. Just like the minimum wage increase increases the income of those on the minimum wage -which are mostly youth.

What the report didn't say is that the dole figures are only a quarter of what they were in 2002 and that some youth in 2002 are no longer classed as youth - but could still be on a benefit. Also, more people are staying on some benefts longer. In 2002 there were 67,144 on the Sickness and Invalids benefit for more than 12 months, the highest ever. That's compared to 67279 for just the Invalids benefit this year - and of course that is the figure for those who have been on the benefit for more than two years.

The Sickness benefit has 20 percent more long termers as well compared with 2002. But get this: more than 5500 on the Sickness and Invalids benefit for more than two years as at February 2007 came off ACC, or are there because of an accident where they didnt get weekly compenstion - and more than 100 were aged 18-24. Perhaps the Labour Department (Party) doesn't want to survey youth Sickness and Invalids benefit figures - some of whom probably should be on the dole or on ACC.

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