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Maori Unemployment Rate Continues To Rise

Maori Unemployment Rate Continues To Rise

Maori unemployment rates continue to rise and are further proof that the Government’s economic plans are failing, says Labour’s Maori Affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia.

“Today’s figures reveal Maori unemployment is up from 14.2 per cent to 15.4 per cent in the last quarter. That’s a total of 24,900 Maori without jobs.

“In addition, unemployment rates among the group of people who identify as having European and Maori ancestry have also jumped up from 10.4 per cent to 13.6 per cent. A further 14,800 people in this group are now unemployed.

“These rates are shocking and the extremely high youth unemployment rate is particularly worrying because we know Maori make up a significant proportion of the youth demographic,” Parekura Horomia says.

“The figures released today show youth unemployment has risen from 25.1 to 26.5 per cent for those aged 15-19, while the rate for those aged 20-24 years has increased from 10.9 per cent to 12.2 per cent. In total this means there are now 72,000 youth aged 24 years and under unemployed.

“If these figures aren’t a wake up call for John Key and the Maori Party, I don’t know what is. Over the last five years real strides were made in terms of lifting Maori employment, and education and training participation rates.

“I’m fearful that unless there is a significant change of direction by this Government, we could see a reversal of these trends becoming entrenched. We’re seeing hundreds of people unsuccessfully queuing for jobs, despite all the rhetoric around the Job Summit,” Parekura Horomia says.

I’m also hearing of more and more families struggling because while they have kept their jobs, they’re beingn forced to work reduced hours. What has happened to the Maori Affairs Ministerial Taskforce on the Economy chaired by the Maori Affairs Minister?

“That taskforce was announced by Pita Sharples just over a year ago today, with the comments ‘This parliamentary term will be defined by how we negotiate the swirling economic waters ahead…We have faced these perils before, and for Maori, the experience was disastrous.’

“It’s time for the Minister to give us an update and explain what the taskforce has achieved in light of the unacceptable Maori unemployment rate?”

ENDS

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