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More kiwis in work but UE increases


More kiwis in work, but ‘brain stay’ means unemployment rate increases

A fall in the number of New Zealanders leaving the country has increased the labour force which, despite continued strong employment growth, has led to a small rise in the offical unemployment rate.

New Zealand’s official unemployment rate now stands at 5.4 percent – up from 5.1 percent for the June 2002 quarter. This is despite 3,000 more New Zealanders in employment in the September 2002 quarter, most of which was full time employment.

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said the government is pleased that employment growth continues and that the particiaption rate of working age New Zealanders in the labour force (66.6 per cent) remains at a historically high level.

“The ‘brain stay’ factor is clearly impacting on the labour market. More New Zealanders are choosing to remain at home, rather than leave for overseas, and this has boosted the number of people in the labour force.

“It’s good news that 3,000 more jobs were created in the last quarter. 115,000 more New Zealanders are employed since the change of government in 1999.

“Our unemployment is significantly below the OECD average of 6.9 percent – and lower than our major trading partners Australia (6.2 percent), the United States (5.7 percent) and Japan (5.5 percent).

“It is important that we continue to see employment growth. Too many New Zealanders still lack the dignity of work and this government believes strongly that getting a job is the best welfare policy of all,” Steve Maharey said.


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