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Nats welcome apparent turnaround in unemployment

Bob Simcock National Employment Spokesman

2 November 2000

National welcomes apparent turnaround in unemployment figures

National's Employment Spokesman Bob Simcock says the Household Labour Force Survey unemployment figures released today are generally good news, but it's too early to say whether they represent a trend.

"The September quarter figures were welcome news after the two preceding quarters of job losses under Labour.

The disappointing news in the latest survey is the unemployment figures for Maori and Pacific Island peoples. Over the three month period Maori unemployment rose from 13% to 14.2%, and for Pacific Islanders unemployment went from 10.8% to 11.3%. That hardly qualifies as closing the gaps!

"For both those groups there are also a growing number of people who have given up on even trying to look for work. The number of Maori who were not 'participating' rose by 5,000 in three months, while the number of Pacific Islanders not participating rose by around 3,000.

"The latest quarterly figures have reversed the negative trend of the first six months under Labour. However it will take a few more HLFS surveys to determine whether this represents a new improving trend, or a statistical hiccup.

"Either way, Labour still has a long way to go to match the 38,000 new jobs a year created on average for the eight years between September 1991 and September 1999 under National lead Governments," Mr Simcock said.

Ends

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