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Job Placement Figures a “Joke” Says Newman

Recent job placement figures that showed almost 60 per cent of people placed in the past year were back on a benefit, made a mockery of the Government’s main performance measure for the Department of Work and Income, the employment spokesman for ACT, Dr Muriel Newman said today.

Of the 13,324 job seekers registered for 26 weeks or more, who were placed in “stable employment outcomes” in the past 12 months, 7460 were re-registered and looking for work again by June 2000.

Figures issued in the last fortnight showed 101,000 people had been registered as unemployed for more than a year, and 50,000 had been unemployed for more than two years. “That means that the number of long-term registered unemployed has grown past the 100,000 mark for the first time ever,” Dr Newman said.

Dr Newman said the statistics have called into question the whole way the Government measures WINZ’s success and effectiveness of programmes designed to get long-termed unemployed people back to work.

“It is just a joke when a Government turns a blind eye to figures being manipulated in an effort to give an impression of success,” Dr Newman said.

She said most people would have no idea that the Government’s definition of “stable employment placements” includes people who only work 15 hours each week for three months or more.

“They are cynically claiming success when they are fully aware that many of those people will be back on the benefit shortly after that three month period. It is a Clayton’s success if ever there was one.

“How the Government can continue to allow WINZ to use such a ridiculous benchmark is beyond me. Instead of hiding behind these figures the Government should be demanding that WINZ get on with the job of tackling long-term unemployment,” Dr Newman said.

She said ACT will be demanding that the Minister adopt a proper measurement system for stable employment placements that New Zealander’s can understand and have confidence in.


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