Wednesday, September 19

DEEWR Payments - unemployment up - students down

Today, DEEWR released its payment data for August 2012. Looking at those people on New Start Allowance and Youth Allowance (Other) as a proxy for unemployed people on income support, the raw numbers declined a touch in August.

But applying some seasonal adjustment, we can see the number of unemployed persons on payments is still increasing.

Because I applied a slightly different seasonal adjustment compared with previous occasions, I will give you the diagnostic plots so that you can see what I have done. These diagnostics are a little rough and I really only use them as a cross check on the adjustment process.

And a quick comparison with the ABS official count of unemployed persons.

There is one DEEWR payment that is behaving unusually: Youth Allowance (Full Time Students). I am not familiar with this payment policy space, so I am unable to shed much light on why its take up rate has fallen. But the charts are quite dramatic.

The usual caveats apply: The DEEWR payments data are not consistent over time. From time to time the government changes the eligibility requirements for payments. This means series suffer from numerous subtle (and occasionally not so subtle) breaks. At the most extreme, it is possible that conclusions drawn from this data are spurious.

Update:  @DPlunky tweeted: Recent changes in DEEWR pops probably due to teens measure effective 1 January this year. Secondary students aged up to 19 can stay on FTB A; 16 & 17 year olds can't get YA. This reduces YA pop.

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