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Jobless at 7.3 percent - September 2012 Quarter

Jobless at 7.3 percent - September 2012 Quarter

The latest Household Labour Force Survey has shown a 0.5 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, to 7.3 percent seasonally corrected (actual 7.2%) in the September 2012 quarter; the highest since 1999.

The number of people unemployed rose by 13,000, while the labour force participation rate remained unchanged.

NZMEA Chief Executive John Walley says, “This shock is no real surprise to manufacturers and exporters. The Government and Reserve Bank continue to see economic strength where we see none – they need to get out more”.

The high exchange rate has fuelled job losses in the manufacturing and export sectors ruining their ability to compete in world markets. Two companies, Dynamic Controls and Rakon Ltd recently announced potential combined job losses of up to 120 people. Rakon outlined plans to shift part of its production overseas in response to the overvalued and volatile New Zealand Dollar, and Dynamic Controls are losing volume and profitability for the same reason. Their departure will have flow on effects to the wider supply chain; applying new pressures on other New Zealand firms. These will be reflected in the December 2012 quarter.

“Any claim that ‘there no crisis’ is now pretty hollow. On the news that Australia is quietly printing money, New Zealand becomes lucky last on the broadening of monetary policy. How long will Government and the Reserve Bank ignore the changing global context?”

“The first step in fixing a problem is to admit a problem exists. We will have to face this sooner or later, the longer it takes the more damage will have been done”.

“Jobs in manufacturing and exporting have a high value to the economy, the on-going defence of the status quo; the ‘what crisis’ mind-set is hard to comprehend”.


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