Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Hitting the mark on employment growth

Hitting the mark on employment growth, but challenges remain

The latest update of the government’s employment strategy shows that New Zealand is continuing to hit the mark in maximising job opportunities and creating the right conditions for employment growth, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

The report records solid job growth in the year to December 2002, with the number of people in employment rising by 44,400 to 1,886,000 workers – more that at any time in New Zealand’s history. The government developed New Zealand’s first employment strategy in 2000 to bring together into one framework its employment priorities and policies. The latest update marks progress against these priorities from July 2001 to December 2002.

Steve Maharey said while New Zealand has been experiencing strong job growth, there a still a number of challenges in the labour market.

“Job numbers are up and our unemployment and labour force participation rates are tracking very well in historical terms. In 2002: the number of people in employment rose by 44,000; the number of job seekers registered with the Ministry of Social Development fell by 12.1 percent and it assisted 52,922 people into stable employment; and New Zealand’s official unemployment rate fell to a 15-year low of 4.9 percent in the December 2002 quarter.

“However our future focus must stay on developing a highly-skilled and flexible workforce. As the update reports, New Zealanders’ qualifications have improved, but an estimated 10-17% of young people aged between 15 and 19 are still not taking part in formal education, work or training. Improving these results further is a priority for the government.

“This year we have amended the Employment Strategy to put more emphasis on securing sustainable employment for more New Zealanders. We want to take advantage of our growing economy to move job seekers into employment that will improve their economic independence, rather than simply focusing on getting them into any job.

. . / 2 “We have also introduced a goal to encourage more young people, mature workers, women, and people with disabilities to participate in the workforce. As demand for labour continues to grow in our economy we will increasingly need to depend on the ability of a wider range of people to participate in the workforce.

“The Employment Strategy is the key tool the government uses to ensure we foster the right conditions for employment growth and we maximise employment opportunities. It ensures that we keep our ‘eye’ on the employment ‘ball’ when decisions across a wide variety of portfolis are taken.

“Our challenge in the coming year is to weather the downturn being experienced internationally so that these results are repeated,” Steve Maharey said.

The Employment Strategy: Progress to Date July 2001 – December 2002 report is available online at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election