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Two million kiwis benefit from pro-jobs policies

10 August 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

More than two million kiwis benefit from pro-jobs policies

The ongoing surge in employment vindicates government programmes and policies to support economic growth, says Progressive MP Matt Robson.

"Our regional and industry development policies are working. The great news today is that, for the first time ever, more than 2,000,000 New Zealanders are now in work. 207,000 more people have jobs than when the coalition government was elected in 1999," Matt Robson said.

Statistics New Zealand reported today that found there was a 0.9% surge in employment in the June quarter compared with the March quarter. The unemployment rate fell to 4.0 per cent or 84,000 people, despite a solid rise in the number of people entering the labour force.

"The reason the Labour Progressive government is active in supporting industry and regional development, and the reason we invest strongly in skills training and education, is because we know that these investments assist the whole economy to leverage more out of our existing skills and advantages. It is a multiplier effect and we need a lot more of it to ensure that the five years of exceptionally strong performance we’ve seen since 1999 continues for many more years yet," Matt Robson said.

“We are continuing to work with industries and regions on training so that employers looking to hire can find skilled people.”

New Zealand's unemployment rate is at its lowest level in a generation and is the second-lowest rate in the OECD club of rich nations.

The Maori and Pacific unemployment rates at 8.8% and 7.4% respectively are also at their lowest in a generation, although there is more work to be done to bring those rates down further, the Progressive MP said.

“National’s new finance spokesperson John Key is going to have a real credibility problem explaining that our policies do work in practice but don’t work in his theory,” said Matt Robson.

ENDS

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