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Robson celebrates rise in jobs, unemployment low

12 May 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Robson celebrates rise in jobs, unemployment low

Progressive MP Matt Robson says the Household Labour Force Survey validates the regional and economic development policies the Progressives have brought to government. Quarterly employment rose 0.9 percent in the March quarter while there was an increase in total actual hours worked of 1.6 percent.

"The unemployment rate is the lowest in a generation, 4.3 per cent, down from 4.6 per cent three months ago. This is the best news in the campaign against poverty that we could have as a nation.

“Since the Clark-Anderton government was elected in 1999, 193,000 more people are in jobs and unemployment is down by one-third," the Progressive MP said.

As reported, the March 2004 quarter Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) results showed tightening labour market conditions.

The unemployment rate of 4.3 percent is the fourth lowest for all OECD countries, bettered only by South Korea, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

The growth in employment is higher than the December 2003 quarter result and is consistent with recent trends of strong employment growth.

There was a spectacular 1.1 per cent rise in full-time employment with no change in part-time employment levels.

The fall in the unemployment rate comes in spite of good growth in the working-age population in the quarter. The working-age population grew by 0.5 percent over the quarter and 1.9 percent from a year earlier.

The unadjusted unemployment rates in the March 2004 quarter stood at 9.4 percent for Mäori and 7.9 percent for Pacific peoples, down from the levels of around 25 per cent to over 30 per cent in the early 1990s when Don Brash's mate, Ruth Richardson, was finance minister.


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