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Auck. Strong For The Future - Taito Phillip Field

Hon Taito Phillip Field Speech Notes

Auckland Strong For The Future

Auckland strong for the future

A report showing falling unemployment for Auckland is cheering mid-winter news, says Mangere MP Taito Phillip Field.

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

The report says Auckland has a good general labour market outlook, performing well on employment, consumer and business confidence.

South Auckland saw a 9.9 percent drop in the number of unemployment beneficiaries in the year to May 2003.

"The Auckland region is down from 39,700 unemployed in March 1999 to 28,200 in March 2003" said Taito Phillip Field.

The region's economic activity - holding at 4.5 percent per annum - has been higher than the national average of 3.8 percent

"That's in stark contrast to the middle of '99, when Auckland was in the doldrums, with annual economic growth very close to zero," said Mr Field.

Auckland's expanding population, combined with cheaper mortgages, has meant more building and retail activity, plus other service related sectors.

The business and finance sectors comprise a significant and expanding part of the central Auckland economy, due partly to a continuing northern shift for corporate head offices. "Those sectors took on an extra 2,800 people in the year to March - that's up by 2.8 percent," said Mr Field.

Despite suffering from SARS and fewer high-spending Asian tourists, guest nights in the tourism sector in the March 2003 quarter rose to 1.58 million from 1.35 million in the March 2001 quarter, with visitors staying 5 percent longer.

Auckland's consumers are also generally confident, with the region's consumer confidence index at 119.9, just above the national average of 118.6.

Mr Field said a cautious tone was appropriate, as the region was not totally insulated from a downturn in the world economy.

"But the outlook for the next year is steady, showing that Auckland is well-placed to deal with any turbulence. We have a large service sector, and the construction and tourism sectors should continue to perform well, without much adverse impact on those who create jobs and those who seek to fill them," he said.

The Labour Market Policy Group's labour market reports for each region are available to download online at http://www.dol.govt.nz/labour-market-reports.asp

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