Careful throwing stones: The employment rate

No Right Turn suggests that John Key is “intellectually shallow” (the Standard makes the same claim) for calling the employment rate the percentage of the working age population employed (ht CPW).  I was surprised with this, as that is also the definition I use.  Furthermore, it is the definition the OECD uses.

NRT’s belief that the employment rate = 1- UR is wrong, and it would be a relatively pointless statistic to release.  However, just because he got it wrong does not lead me to the conclusion that he is “intellectually shallow”.  In fact, I will appreciate his posts with the same amount of interest that I usually do.  I just suspect that he should be a little more careful before throwing around stones attacking other peoples intelligence.

However, there is one place where I disagree with NRT AND John Key – “catching Australia” is a managerial consultants view of policy, and doesn’t make sense on either economic or social policy grounds.  (Comments here, here, and here).

Update:  Anti-Dismal agrees that this goal is weird.

8 replies
  1. scrubone
    scrubone says:

    Too many times, Idiot is simply a left-wing version of Whale Oil. The fact that he couches his post in intellectual terms doesn’t hide the fact that he’s very prone to lashing irrationally at those he hates.

  2. Matt Nolan
    Matt Nolan says:


    @Eric Crampton

    I enjoy some of NRT’s stuff, but I find the attacks to much – that sort of stuff is the reason why I haven’t put them on my blogroll and generally don’t read them anymore. I guess I’m just not very partisan, and sorta dislike it.

  3. scrubone
    scrubone says:

    I don’t mind partisan, what I dislike is irrational hatred of the sort that always assumes that those on the “other side” have some sort of nefarious purpose, rather than a genuine difference of view or opinion.

    As Eric says, when you get past the noise and nonsense, he gets some good stuff up – and I say that as someone who disagrees completely with his views.

  4. StephenR
    StephenR says:

    Perhaps i’m missing something, but there used to be a link to this post at the bottom of I/S’s post, but now it’s disappeared, with a link to The Standard in its place. I remember Liberty Scott complained about his links to NRT disappearing too.

    Try again?

  5. Matt Nolan
    Matt Nolan says:


    Sounds like we all agree, weird 😀


    These things happen. My working assumption will be that it wasn’t on purpose.

    If it was on purpose then it is disappointing – nearly as disappointing as the fact that Paul Krugman and his buddies keep running around quoting a graph that shows the Beveridge curve in the US is broken, when the person that made the graph corrected it and admitted they had made an error.

  6. sid peterson
    sid peterson says:

    to calculate the labor force participation rate use the equation:

    LFP = CLF/ CNIP — meaning labor force participation is calculated by dividing the civilian
    labor force by the civilian non-institutional population.

    as for the unemployment rate use:

    unemployment rate = unemployment/ CLF

    and for the employment rate use:

    employment rate = employment/ CNIP

    Read carefully and Apply it.

  7. StephenR
    StephenR says:

    Well the link to The Standard is gone now too, guess he deletes all of them.

Comments are closed.