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Maharey predicts positive year for jobs

Maharey predicts positive year for jobs

The year is set to be a positive one on the job front, according to official forecasts released today by Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

The predictions are contained in labour market reports prepared by the Department of Labour. They point to a strongly performing domestic economy driving job growth in the major metropolitan cities which, in turn, is expected to provide the impetus for job growth in other regions. This pattern is expected to change in 2005 as a strengthening in exports acts to boost more rural regional labour markets.

Speaking at a meeting of financial planners in Palmerston North this afternoon, Steve Maharey said that New Zealand was enjoying a sustained period of economic and job growth that looked set to continue in 2004.

“The New Zealand economy continues to outperform almost all of our trading partners – enabling more New Zealanders to gain secure employment.

“This in turn has brought to the fore a number problems New Zealanders are not used to, including businesses reporting that they cannot find workers or the right people with the right skills. The government will continue to invest heavily this year in tertiary education and skills development so that a lack of skilled staff does not hold back economic growth.”

Steve Maharey said predictions of continued employment and economic growth are a wakeup call for the government’s critics arguing for a return to the policies of the 1990s.

“The facts are that the 1990s were a period of underperformance. Since 1999 the mix of a commitment to an open market economy, sound management of government finances and policies designed to support industry and the regions has paid off.

“New Zealanders are interested in seeing the economy grow and more getting more people into work. They do not want to see a return to the futile ideological debates of the 1990s,” Steve Maharey said.

The Department of Labour’s regional labour market report national overview is available on-line at www.beehive.govt.nz/maharey. Individual region labour market reports will be available at www.dol.govt.nz/labour-market-reports.asp from 2pm.

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