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Public sector hiring binge continues unabated

John Key MP
National Party Finance Spokesman
27 August 2006

Public sector hiring binge continues unabated

The number of jobs in the state sector grew a staggering 6.3% over the past year, confirming that the Labour Government's hiring binge continues unabated, says National Party Finance spokesman John Key.

Statistics New Zealand data from its Quarterly Employment Survey shows the number of government jobs grew from 230,550 to 245,100 in the year to June 2006. Yet at the same time the total number of jobs in the economy grew by just 3%.

Mr Key says it’s staggering that the growth of jobs in the public sector is double that of those in the overall economy.

This continues the trend of a rapidly growing state sector, which was identified 18 months ago by the Treasury.

“You just have to look at the job ads in the newspaper to see that the public sector has been hiring like crazy,” says Mr Key. “But these new figures confirm this beyond any doubt.”

“What’s more, the big growth in government jobs over the past six years has been in the head offices of ministries and departments - not in the number of teachers, doctors, nurses, and other workers out at the coal face.”

Policy and administration jobs in ministries and departments have grown 33% over the past six years.

“We’ve now got to the stage where one in 50 jobs in New Zealand is as a bureaucrat,” says Mr Key. “This is doing nothing productive for the economy but filling office blocks in Wellington.”

This new information comes on top of other recent figures from Statistics New Zealand showing state sector employee salaries grew by an average of 4.2% last year, compared to an average wage growth of 3% in the private sector.

“A growing number of jobs and higher pay in those jobs adds up to a big wage bill at the end of the year,” says Mr Key.

“In fact the Government’s accounts show that the core Crown wage bill went up a whopping 17% last year.

“Treasury was so concerned about the growing size of the public service and wage bill that it wrote to the Minister of Finance last year highlighting its worries. But if Treasury was worried last year it will be doubly so now.”


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