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No Xmas Cheer For Unemployed From Minimum Wage

14 December 2000

No Christmas Cheer For Unemployed From Minimum Wage Changes

Employers' Federation chief executive Anne Knowles says today's changes are good news for those on the minimum wage, but will bring little cheer for the unemployed.

Ms Knowles says research shows that increasing the minimum wage leads to higher unemployment, and makes it harder for the unemployed to get a foot on the employment ladder.

'While the minimum wage changes were no doubt made with the best of intentions, unfortunately all they do is price low-skilled workers out of
the market. We live in a competitive marketplace, and lifting minimum wages without regard to productivity only makes New Zealand employers less competitive, and less able to offer employment.

"All New Zealanders would want to protect the interests of those currently on the minimum wage, but that should not be done at the expense of the unemployed.

"There are other ways* of protecting employee income levels that do not involve the high human costs of the minimum wage," Ms Knowles said.

Ends

Contact Anne Knowles 04 4994111, 021 425868 Kathryn Asare 021 555 744

*More information can be found under 'submissions' on the Employers Federation website www.nzef.org.nz


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