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Rise in jobs, decline in poverty

5 February 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Rise in jobs, decline in poverty

Progressive MP Matt Robson says today's Quarterly Employment Survey, showing a continuing growth in the demand for labour, and in earnings, represents further progress in the war against poverty and inequality.

"Full-time employment growth was significant in the December quarter compared with the previous quarter and also with the same quarter last year. The survey results also indicate significant increases in workers' earnings and paid hours in the December 2003 quarter and the year to December 31," Matt Robson said.

"That is why monitoring of inequality in New Zealand shows the progressive coalition government is making progress at eliminating poverty and inequalities," the Progressive MP said.

Monitoring reports, also released today, show, for example, that Maori household incomes have improved, their unemployment rate has dropped, and the proportion of Maori students leaving school with qualifications is up, among other improving measures.

"At the same time the absolute position of all New Zealanders is improving, inequalities are diminishing. That is progressive and it is the basis for progress and hope for the future," Matt Robson said.

Statistics New Zealand said today that full-time employment in the December 2003 quarter rose by 3.1 percent compared with the previous quarter. The public and private sectors both experienced a significant increase in average hourly earnings, compared with the previous quarter.

ENDS

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