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Wake up call in job figures

Bob Simcock
Opposition Employment Spokesperson
4 May 2000

Wake up call in job figures

New unemployment figures out today revealing a rise in unemployment for the first time in 15 months are an early wake-up call for the Labour-Alliance Government, Opposition Employment spokesperson Bob Simock said today.

"The market was expecting the unemployment rate to drop - to around 6.1%. It has increased to 6.4 %.

"The figure must raise early alarm bells.

"The unemployment rate has been steadily tracking down since the December 1998 quarter. For the first time in 15 months the unemployment rate has increased.

"While the rise in fulltime employment is welcome - the outlook for the future is being thrown into uncertainty by the Government's policy programme.

"Employers are saying they will be reluctant and unable to take on more staff as they grapple with the changes under the Employment Relations Bill, ACC reform and general policy uncertainty.

"The New Zealand labour market is already facing skill shortages without having the added rigidities this Government is imposing.

"This Government is turning a booming economy into a collapse in confidence among businesses."

Ends


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