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National failing workers and the environment

13 November 2012

National failing workers and the environment

Unemployment is growing one-and-a-half times faster in New Zealand than across the rest of the OECD, the Green Party said today.

Parliamentary Library research shows that unemployment has gone up 3.1 percent since National took office in 2008 while unemployment has risen only 1.9 percent, on average, across the rest of the OECD over that same period.

“Unemployment under National is growing significantly faster here than throughout the rest of the developed world,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“The rapid growth of unemployment under National’s economic policies compared to the rest of the OECD should be a cause for genuine concern about the economic direction National is taking New Zealand.”

Steven Joyce reconfirmed National’s focus on expanding mining, intensifying agriculture, and supporting casinos in the House today in response to questions from Dr Norman about the record unemployment statistics.

“National’s focus on mining and dairy intensification is not a job rich economic strategy. It’s also a strategy that comes with very high environmental and social costs,” said Dr Norman.

“A smarter way to run the economy would be to invest in clean, green jobs. All the evidence from overseas shows the greener the industry, the higher the job growth rate.

“But until you admit that there is a problem, there’s unlikely to be any reconsideration of National’s jobless economic direction.”

Dr Norman cited research from the Pew Center and the US Bureau of Labour Statistics that details the job intensity and growth potential of the green economy.

“Pew’s research shows that between 1998 and 2007, clean energy economy jobs in the USA – a mix of white and blue-collar positions, from scientists and engineers to electricians and machinists – grew by 9.1 percent, while total jobs grew by only 3.7 percent,” said Dr Norman.

“We can have an economy that creates jobs and shifts our economy onto a more sustainable footing.”

Green Party plan for a job’s rich economy:
http://www.greens.org.nz/greenjobs

Pew Center research:
http://bit.ly/Uzio2q

ENDS


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