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Maharey welcomes reduction in unemployment

8 February 2001 Media Statement

Maharey welcomes reduction in unemployment

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey has welcomed the reduction in the official rate of unemployment to 5.6 per cent – the lowest rate since June 1988.

"Today's figures confirm the continued strengthening of the New Zealand economy. Employment is up by 36,000 year on year, and unemployment is down by 11,000 over the same period. It is particularly encouraging to see that the changes in employment are being largely driven by an increase in full time jobs".

"I am delighted to see that Long Term Unemployment has decreased – the number is down from 41,700 a year ago to 32,400 for the December 2000 quarter"

"While all ethnic groups have shown a decrease in unemployment – the rate of Maori unemployment is now 13 per cent, down 14.5 per cent a year ago, and19.5 per cent in December 1998 – the challenge for the Government is to ensure that all New Zealanders participate in a growing economy. "

"It is still the case that unemployment is concentrated within particular groups in our society and within particular regions – the Government is committed to ensuring that all regions share in the economic recovery."

"These numbers indicate that the New Zealand economy is well placed to accommodate any weakening in the international economy. Under the economic stewardship of this Government the economy is nowhere near as exposed as it might have been to changes in the international economy"

"These numbers should be welcomed by all sectors of the New Zealand economy. The Government is committed to ensuring that the reduction in unemployment will be managed so as to avoid skill shortages or bottlenecks – education and training policies, and where appropriate, immigration policy, will be used to ensure that the economy has the skills required at the right time and in the right quantities"

ENDS

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