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Low confidence takes toll on number of workers

"The latest Household Labour Force Survey figures indicate that many people have either given up on the chance of finding a job, or left our shores," National's Employment Spokesman Bob Simcock said today.

"The number of employed fell by 4,000. This is the second quarter in a row that the overall number of people with jobs has reduced, not increased.

"Put simply, that means there are 4,000 fewer people in jobs than there were three months earlier.

"The number of unemployed has fallen, but the survey only takes account of people who are in a job, or actively seeking one. The real story behind these figures is that many of those without jobs, who were actively seeking employment, have given up trying, or left for Australia.

"It shows that the low levels of business and consumer confidence have begun to take their toll. Unless that confidence recovers to strongly positive levels in the near future, New Zealand runs the risk of lacklustre growth performance and fewer job opportunities.

"Today's figures show an alarming change in trends. Under National an average of 19,000 jobs were created every six months since September 1991.

"Six months of Jim Anderton's "Job Machine" and we've got 10,000 fewer people in work," Bob Simcock said.

Ends

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