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National fails to deliver lower unemployment

7 May 2014

National fails to deliver lower unemployment

National is failing to deliver lower unemployment despite strong economic growth fuelled by the Christchurch rebuild, today’s jobs data shows, Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei said.

“This is not a jobs-rich recovery and the benefits of economic recovery are not being shared equally,” Mrs Turei said.

The March Quarter Household Labour Force Survey showed the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.0 percent from the December quarter.

“National also cannot escape the fact that after six years in government, five years on from the Global Financial Crisis and helped by the economic tail wind of the $40 billion Christchurch rebuild, the unemployment rate is still well above the 4.4 percent rate when they took office,” Mrs Turei said.

“A large number of the new jobs have come in the construction industry, mainly in Christchurch and so, without the extraordinary circumstances of Christchurch, the unemployment rate would be even worse,” Mrs Turei said.

“Employment in Christchurch rose by 29,100 in the year to March and without that, the growth in jobs nationally would look limp.

“Our youth unemployment (15 to 19 year-olds available for work) remains appallingly high at 31 percent.”

Despite New Zealand having among the highest economic growth rates in the OECD, New Zealand’s unemployment rate still languishes at 11th place.

Mrs Turei said jobs will be front and centre of a Green Party government, which will partner other stakeholders, such as regional bodies and iwi, to ensure employment grows not just in cities, but in the regions.

“The Green Party programme to move the economy away from dependence on dairy, logs and mining towards local, high tech and greentech industries, will put our economy on a sustainable path and create good jobs,” she said.

ENDS

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