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DWI job-seeker register drops 16% since election

30 May 2001 Media Statement

DWI job-seeker register drops 16% since November 1999

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey says that since November 1999 the number of people registered as job seekers with the Department of Work and Income has dropped by 37,560 or over 16%.

"While not the official measure of unemployment, these figures provide further confirmation that the economic recovery is being reflected in an increase in jobs, and that people are moving off the register and into paid employment.

"Twelve of the thirteen Department of Work and Income regions show a decline in the number of job seekers on the register over this period, and in some regions the reduction has been quite remarkable.

"In the East Coast region we have seen a 33% reduction in the numbers on the register and in Nelson the reduction is of the order of 42%.

"The Labour-Alliance Government was elected on the basis of a programme that was about jobs, and about development. These numbers show that people are moving off the job seeker register and into jobs, and that some of the most significant gains are being experienced in the regions that bore the brunt of the economic slow down of the last decade. The numbers reflect the commitment and contribution of both the Coalition partners.

"I have said before that there are no grounds for complacency, and I will repeat it again. There is still significant disparities in terms of the incidence of unemployment among Maori and Pacific peoples, and, while long term unemployment is coming down, the challenge is to assist those with relatively longer periods of duration on the register.

"This is good news, but there is still much more to be done," Steve Maharey said.

Attached is a summary table showing the increases/decreases in the DWI job seeker register by region between November 1999 and April 2001.

Summary Table

Percentage change – Total Registered Job Seekers, November 1999 and April 2001 by Region*

Percentage decrease or (increase)

Northland 10.6%
Auckland North (1.4%)
Auckland Central 8.1%
Auckland South 6.3%
Waikato 13.2%
Taranaki 22.3%
Bay of Plenty 16.7%
East Coast 33%
Central 18.8%
Wellington 9.0%
Nelson 42%
Canterbury 14%
Southern 33.7%
Total 16.1%

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