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Pacific unemployment rate at near record lows

9 November 2007

Pacific unemployment rate at near record lows

Unemployment figures out yesterday confirm the huge gains made by Pacific people under the Labour-led government, says the new Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.

The new Household Labour Force Survey report for the September 2007 quarter records Pacific unemployment at 5.5%, the third lowest on record and down from 14.9% for the September 1999 quarter.

"In 1999 when Labour took office around one in six Pacific people were unemployed. Now the figure is closer to one in 18," said Laban.

"This is yet more fantastic news for our Pacific communities. The Labour-led government has delivered on jobs for our Pacific people.

"Under Labour our Pacific people are moving forward, together. The Working for Families package is lifting our children out of poverty and providing real financial support to our Pacific families.

"Labour has reduced the cost of going to the doctor by around half and our Pacific families are benefiting from our 20 hours free Early Childhood Education policy.

"We have wiped all interest on student loans for our tertiary students and we have provided funding to revive Pacific languages. Next year Labour will outline plans for a personal tax cut for all our hard working Pasifika people.

"Our people are once again energised and optimistic about their future," said Laban.

Laban said that there is still much to do to ensure Pacific people are equipped to share in New Zealand's future success, such as moving our Pacific people into higher income and higher skilled jobs.

"This Labour-led government has delivered for our Pacific people and we are 100% committed to building on the gains of the past 8 years," said Laban.

ENDS

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