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Canterbury Falling unemployment strong job growth

Falling unemployment and strong job growth in Canterbury

A report showing Canterbury has some of the nation’s strongest job growth and further falls in unemployment is excellent mid-winter news, says Waimakariri Member of Parliament, Clayton Cosgrove.

He was commenting on the release today of the Department of Labour’s half yearly regional labour market report for Canterbury.

“Unemployment is measured in a number of ways. This report shows unemployment in Canterbury is down on all counts,” said Clayton Cosgrove.

In the year to March, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent of the labour force. Four years ago, the figure was 7.7 percent. Canterbury has had the biggest drop of any region in the number of officially unemployed people, down 9.4 percent to an annual average of 13,800 people – in a region with 427,700 people of working age.

Helping to reduce unemployment in Canterbury has been solid job growth. Canterbury has 18.7 percent more jobs now than four years ago, the nation’s biggest increase in that period. Job growth in the year to March was up 2.9 percent. Many of the new jobs were in the trade and hospitality sector, with growth in both tourism and population strong factors in the economic lift.

The Canterbury economy grew 4.9 percent to March 2003 and has remained at 4 percent or above since September 2001.

Mr Cosgrove says the report is right to echo a cautious note, with economic and job growth expected to drop off.

“As a government we are certainly predicting that the strong economic growth we’ve been enjoying will moderate in the year to next March before rebounding. The Labour Department predicts job growth in Canterbury will remain robust but weaker. Unemployment is picked to remain steady rather than continue to fall as it has in the last three years.

“This report confirms our region is buoyant and well-placed to deal with some turbulence from the world’s economic problems,” said Mr Cosgrove.

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