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No cheer in employment figures


New Zealanders can take no comfort from the slight decrease in unemployment reported in the latest household labour force survey.

Labour employment spokesperson Steve Maharey says the decline in labour market participation, lack of employment growth, trend to part-time work and increasing Mäori unemployment paint a depressing picture.

"The slight fall in unemployment is partly due to 10,000 people leaving the labour force. Many of these are discouraged job-seekers who have given up. Their number has been rising steadily and is now 12,500."

Employment has not increased from the previous quarter. The increase since the same quarter last year is mostly in part-time jobs (up 16,000 compared to 4000 new full-time jobs).

"We're looking at a steady trend into part-time work when people are crying out for full-time jobs and proper incomes."

"We're not producing the secure, quality jobs we need. New Zealand will end up as a theme park with nothing but service jobs unless we get a government prepared to invest in education, research and business growth."

Mr Maharey said the Mäori unemployment rate of 18.2% was a national disgrace. It has increased from 17.8% in the same quarter last year.

"Tau Henare's promise to halve Mäori unemployment must be haunting him now."

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