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Labour Market Outlook Assisted By Reg. Development

Media statement by Jim Anderton
Minister of Economic, Regional and Industry Development
Progressive Leader

29 January 2003

Strong labour market outlook assisted by sound regional development programmes

The Labour Market Report released today by the Minister of Social Development and Employment, Steve Maharey, shows strong regional economies supported by sound regional development programmes, says Jim Anderton, Minister of Economic, Regional and Industry development.

"Reports that this year will be positive for jobs are good news. The strategic planning and development initiatives undertaken by the regions in partnership with government, communities and business have played a significant role in strengthening this positive outlook for job growth," said Jim Anderton

All 26 regions in New Zealand now have strategic plans for regional development and 10 regions have their Major Regional Initiatives in place (see below).

"I am aware that the outlook for export related jobs is not as buoyant as other sectors. While the dollar remains high our exporters may continue to experience some restraint to growth. The Labour Progressive coalition government is working with businesses to develop high value products and services. High skill, high value products are not as prone to difficulties when the dollar rises.

"The creation of high skill, high quality jobs, especially in export rich sectors, will help us build the conditions for long-term sustainable economic development. That is why this Labour Progressive coalition government is working with key industry sectors like the wood industry, biotechnology, design and screen production to further strengthen our economy."

"The predictions for good job growth overall, along with our record levels of low unemployment (currently 4.4%) and high economic growth (3.6%) bode well for New Zealanders looking for work. It is certainly a positive start to the year," said Jim Anderton.

Major Regional Initiatives up and running so far:
Northland - tourism investment attraction
Waikato - innovation business park
Hawkes Bay - food and wine
Rotorua - wood processing
Taranaki - heavy engineering
Manawatu - biocommerce
Wellington - film production Nelson/Tasman - seafood industry
Marlborough - wine Southland - broadband for business

Industry sector strategies: Biotechnology Creative (including screen production and design) Information and Communications Technology Food and Beverage Niche manufacturing Wood processing Education

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