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Govt focused on correcting fall in export jobs

Govt focused on correcting fall in export jobs

More than half of all new jobs created in New Zealand since 2004 have been in public administration, health and education, while the number of jobs in major export industries has shrunk, Finance Minister Bill English says.

That is why the Government is focused on tilting the economy towards productive investment, savings and exports, and away from unsustainable government spending, borrowing and housing speculation.

“The composition of new jobs created in recent years is concerning,” Mr English told Parliament today. “In short, jobs in export-related industries have shrunk, while most new jobs have been in Government-related sectors.

“More than half the jobs created since 2004 have been in the public administration, health and education sectors. While these sectors are important, they have grown unsustainably. Since 2004, they have grown by more than 20 per cent – or over four times the growth rate of other sectors.

“During this time, employment in agriculture, forestry, fishing and manufacturing has fallen.

“This pattern cannot continue,” Mr English says. “We are simply ending up with too many workers in mostly public sector industries and not enough employment in the more productive parts of the economy to support them.

“That is why our overall productivity growth has been negative for a decade and we ended up with large balance of payments deficits.”

The Government is focused on creating sustainable jobs through a programme to rebalance the economy. This includes:

• Reprioritising almost $4 billion of spending towards frontline public services in the last two Budgets.
• A multi-billion dollar investment programme in productive infrastructure.
• Significantly increased funding for business science and research
• A comprehensive Budget tax package to help tilt the economy towards productive investment and exports.
• A thorough review of Government regulations affecting businesses.

This programme will continue year after year – and some progress is already being made, Mr English says.

“It was pleasing to see over 20,000 new jobs created in the March quarter. It’s also pleasing to see the tradeables side of the economy growing faster than the domestic side for the first time since 2002.

“That will help ensure the 170,000 new jobs forecast in the Budget over the next four years will be worthwhile and sustainable.”


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