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4.4  Exploring differences across New Zealand

Location of 15 to 19-year-old youth who are long-term NEET

As in the risk analysis discussed in Section 3, Insights allows youth outcomes to be compared across different geographic locations within New Zealand down to area unit level. Figure 7 shows how the proportion of time spent long-term NEET in 2015 differs across regions. The region with the highest proportion of time spent as long-term NEET is Northland (9.1 percent), while the lowest is Tasman (3.1 percent). By comparison, the time spent long-term NEET by all 15 to 19-year-olds in New Zealand was 5.9 percent.

There is considerable variation within regions however. Figure 7 also shows the variation in the same measure across ward areas in the Auckland region. Overall 15 to 19-year-olds in Auckland spent 5.6 percent of time as long-term NEET, almost identical to the national average. This varied considerably across Ward areas however, with young people in Manurewa-Papakura ward spending 9.9 percent of the time long-term NEET, compared to just 2.5 percent for those living in Orakei ward.

These rates differ from the NEET rates reported by Statistics NZ from the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). NEET, as measured in the HLFS, is based on people’s reporting of their activity over the previous week, and is measured on a quarterly basis. By contrast, our IDI-base measures of NEET are calculated on a monthly basis and averaged across the year.  The HLFS approach is essentially measured at a point-in-time. While it will include both short-term and long-term NEET spells, long-term NEET spells are more likely to be captured with this approach.

The overall 15 to 19-year-old NEET rate as reported in the HLFS for 2015 (averaged across four quarters) was 7.3 percent, whereas we estimate 15 to 19-year-olds spent an average of 5.9 percent of time in a long-term NEET spell in 2015. If we include time spent in short-term NEET spells of less than six months we estimate the NEET rate to be somewhat higher than the HLFS rate, 8.5 percent in 2015. When we break these figures down by region the patterns are very similar however (see Appendix B, Table 2).

Figure 7: Proportion of time spent as long-term NEET in 2015 for youth aged 15 to19 across New Zealand regions and Auckland wards
Figure 7: Proportion of time spent as long-term NEET in 2015 for youth aged 15 to19 across New Zealand regions and Auckland wards.
 

The HLFS sample is not sufficiently large to provide estimates at a detailed geographical level. The IDI is not subject to sample-size issues, and this enables us to present NEET measures for very small areas in the Insights tool. Caution should be taken with these very detailed estimates however, as address data may not always be accurate or up-to-date.

Proportion of 15 to 19-year-old youth who are in education by their level of risk

We can also look at geographical differences in outcomes for different age groups defined according to risk at age 15. Figure 8 shows the amount of time spent in education across New Zealand for youth aged 15 to 19, by whether or not they had two or more risk indicators at age 15.

In all regions youth with fewer risk indicators were more likely to be in education, and generally speaking there was little variation across the country once the number of risk indicators is taken into account. The proportion of time spent in education by youth aged 15 to 19 with fewer than two risk indicators ranged from 38 percent in the West Coast region up to 41 percent in six different regions. There was more variation amongst those young people with two or more risk indicators, with at-risk youth in Marlborough spending 29 percent of their time in education, compared to 35 percent in Wellington. The difference between education participation of at-risk and not-at-risk youth was lowest in the West Coast region (4 percentage points), while it was highest in Marlborough and Canterbury (10 percentage points). In all other regions at-risk youth were 6 to 8 percentage points less likely than not-at-risk youth to be in education.

Figure 8: Proportion of time spent in education in 2015 for youth aged 15 to19 across New Zealand regions by number of risk indicators at age 15
Figure 8: Proportion of time spent in education in 2015 for youth aged 15 to 19 across New Zealand regions by number of risk indicators at age 15.
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