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Unemployed drop welcome but not good enough

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Social Services and Employment
Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)
Minister for Community and Voluntary Sector
MP for Palmerston North

03 February 2000

Unemployed drop welcome but not good enough for this Govt

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey today welcomed the drop in unemployment for the December 1999 quarter but said there was no room for complacency.

The results of the Household Labour Force Survey for the December 1999 quarter were released today showing unemployment dropped 0.5 percent to 6.3 percent. Mr Maharey said the new Government had a clear focus on jobs.

“The creation of new sustainable jobs is a commitment this Government made last year on the election trail. While, of course, the drop in unemployment is welcome we want to do much better.

“The drop in unemployment amongst Mäori is greater than expected, but at 14.5 percent it is still more than three times the rate experienced by Pakeha. This must be of concern to us all.

“The Government sees job creation as the central focus of our economic and social programme. We intend to actively promote export led growth and local economic development to bring the unemployment rate down even further.

“Our focus on maintaining employability will include better access to training and support for New Zealanders to retrain throughout their lives.

“The experience of other similar economies shows us that it is possible to achieve significantly lower levels of unemployment without compromising other macroeconomic objectives. With the appropriate policy mix we can have economic growth and lower unemployment. That is our objective”, Steve Maharey said.


ENDS



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