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Employment another sign of strong economic fundamentals

Today’s drop in the unemployment rate to its lowest level in over a decade is another real example of New Zealand’s strong economic fundamentals, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in the September 2018 quarter, the lowest since June 2008. At the same time, the employment rate rose to a record high of 68.3%.

“On entering Government we said our economic plan would focus on ensuring all New Zealanders benefited from growth, and set the target of a 4% unemployment rate within our first term.

“Our economic plan backs businesses to invest and hire. We’re making record transport infrastructure investments throughout New Zealand to boost productivity and exports; we have a strong focus on regional development through the Provincial Growth Fund; and we are supporting businesses to close skills gaps through policies like Mana in Mahi/Strength in Work, micro-credentials and fees-free.

“On top of this, our $1 billion investment to support business research & development, the $100 million Green Investment Fund, and Trade for All agenda will see investment in new technologies, and open up new markets for our exporters.

“We’re also changing the underlying regulatory settings to encourage investment into the productive economy. We’re heading away from growth driven by property speculation and population increase and transitioning the economy towards productive, sustainable and inclusive growth.

“It is the nature of statistics such as the unemployment figures that there will be some fluctuation in coming quarters. But today’s data show the underlying fundamentals of the economy, the labour market and businesses are strong,” Grant Robertson said.

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