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Figures good - but Govt will continue jobs focus

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Employment

2 November 2000
For Immediate Release Media Statement

Figures good - but Govt will continue jobs focus

"The latest labour force data is positive but no cause for complacency," Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

"The results - showing unemployment at a 12-year low and increases in both the employment and the participation rate - are particularly strong given the stresses that the labour market has been under with weak domestic demand and rising petrol prices.

"However the Government has no intention of easing off on our strategy to improve skill levels and to secure sustainable job growth," Mr Maharey said.

"Initiatives already undertaken in pursuit of this objective include the Modern Apprenticeship Progamme, moves to lower the cost barriers to tertiary education, business assistance programmes and policies to encourage new technologies, e-commerce and research and development.

"The figures show that to improve the economy we need to improve the performance of some regions and the job prospects of youth, Maori and Pacific Island peoples.

"The regionalisation of the Department of Work and Income to work with local employers and the Industry Training Review will target these areas," Mr Maharey said.

ENDS

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