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Unemployment Falls Again

"As many as 18-thousand more people have jobs because of this Government compared to the policies of the previous National-Act Government, Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton said today.

New official figures show unemployment sat 5.6% of the workforce, the lowest level of unemployment since June 1988.

"In its pre-election economic and fiscal update, the last Government announced that its policies would produce an unemployment rate of 6.1% in the year to March 2001.

"If National and Act were in government today, the unemployment rate could be as high as 6.1%, on their own forecasts. That would have meant 11,000 more official unemployed, and 18,000 more jobless than under a Labour-Alliance coalition.

"In my regional visits, since I became Minister of Economic Development, it is clear that kiwis know that the future is in our hands. New Zealanders are taking advantage of the opportunities this Labour Alliance Government is creating to foster employment and business growth.

"In a decade in office, the National Party never brought the level of unemployment this low," Jim Anderton said.

"There are still serious challenges facing the economy which the Government has to address. No one in the Government will be satisfied yet. There is still essential work to be completed to create more jobs and rising incomes for all New Zealanders, particularly in the regions."

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