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Sudden drop in employment big surprise

Media statement Thursday May 8th, 2008

Sudden drop in employment big surprise

Employers are surprised at the size and suddenness of the drop in the employment figures released today.

Alasdair Thompson, Chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) said: "We were expecting unemployment to rise but the speed of the reversal has taken us by surprise.

"Our polls of 2500 members at our briefings last month reported labour shortages had eased, but the size of the drop shows growth in the economy has fallen away.

"Our consultants are reporting a deep concern amongst businesses too, with the number of restructurings and redundancy negotiations substantially up.

"We're not on the door step of a recession though, and in fact there is no reason to have one, since New Zealand's capacity to boost our collective incomes remains huge. But what happen from here will depend on the skills of our business and political managers.

"However if another drop in employment of the same magnitude occurs next quarter we'll have to revise that prediction."


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