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39,000 More Jobs Since July 2000, More To Come

Maharey: 39,000 More Jobs Since July 2000, With More To Come

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey says that that prospects for job seekers are looking positive given the solid foundation that the Government has put in place in the first 18-months of the Employment Strategy.

The government developed New Zealand’s first ever employment strategy in 2000 as an integrated framework to implement its employment policies.

The Employment Strategy: Progress to Date, July 2000-December 2001 was released today by Steve Maharey. The report details the significant progress has been made on economic and employment growth, developing a more skilled workforce and increasing labour force participation since July 2000.

Steve Maharey said that ensuring New Zealanders have the opportunity to participate in paid employment is a fundamental objective for the Labour Alliance government.

“Over the last 18-months 39,000 people have joined the workforce and the number of people unemployed – at 5.2% – is at a 13-year low. Employment is up in most regions, as are employment rates for all ethnic groups with above average growth for Maori and Pacific peoples.

“While the government sets the policy framework and can influence the economic environment, the success story documented in this report is also the result of a well developed partnership with the other key actors in the economy – farmers, business, local government, unions and employees, and the community sector.

“Looking ahead the challenge is to maintain these partnerships, sustain the current rate of employment and economic growth, further reduce unemployment levels and develop an economy that encourages people to participate.

“New Zealand is part of the global economy, and any down-turn globally is likely to be reflected in our levels of economic and employment activity. We are now very well placed to respond to changes in the international economy,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

Postscript: the Household Labour Force Survey for the December 2001 quarter is due to be released on Friday (February 8). The Department of Labour is expecting employment growth of 0.2% (3,000 people), a large net migration inflow, and a slight rise in the unemployment rate for the quarter.

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