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Recovery for Pacific is slow

Su’a William Sio
Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson

12 February 2014

Recovery for Pacific is slow

“The Salvation Army’s report “Striking a Better Balance” reveals the awful truth about Pacific unemployment, says Labour’s Spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs, Su’a William Sio

“Despite National trumpeting an economic recovery and celebrating an improvement in unemployment rates, Pacific and Māori communities are still not able to join in those celebrations.

“Our young people, in particular, are doing it tough, lagging even further behind since National came to power.

“Pacific communities are always the last to receive their fair share of the economic benefits of this country. It has happened to us whenever there has been an economic downturn with a right leaning government at the helm, and nothing has changed under National.

“Even though the New Zealand economy has moved into recovery and the official unemployment rate is now 6%, Pacific unemployment still sits at 13.7%. That’s far too high for a small community of people that call New Zealand home.

“Some 157,000 young people aged 15-19 years are not engaged in the workforce, an 18,000 increase since National took office in 2008. Despite Steven Joyce bragging that the ‘Government’s focus on young people is paying off’ the reality is that the unemployment rate for young people aged 15-19 years is a whopping 24%.

Sadly for our young Pacific community it is just as bleak, with fewer 15 to 24 year olds in employment now (20,800) than in 2008 (25,900), despite that population increasing by 2000.

“There is no evidence that the recovery is reaching the Pacific community yet, said Su’a William Sio.

ENDS

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