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Unemployment Rate Keeps Dropping

Associate Social Services, Work and Income Minister Peter McCardle said today the continuing fall in unemployment reflects the return to economic growth in the last year.

The June quarter unemployment rate, as outlined in the Household Labour Force Survey out today, is down to 7.0 per cent. A year ago the figure was 7.6 per cent.

Mr McCardle said: "After being hit hard by the rural drought and the Asian crisis, the economy is rebounding and we have seen growth all year. That's feeding through into more jobs, and it will continue. The number of jobs is up 21,000 over the past year.

"We hear regular claims that "there are no jobs", which is clearly nonsense. There are one and a three quarter million people in work, and tens of thousands of jobs change hands each year.

"Another good sign in today's figures is the continuing fall in the Pacific Island unemployment rate. It is now at 12. 8 per cent, the lowest rate in 11 years.

"The 7 per cent rate of national unemployment is the lowest in 18 months. It is below Australia's rate of 7.2 per cent, and again confirms that the economic recovery is well underway.

"As importantly, New Zealand forecasters are predicting growth of around 30,000 new jobs in the year to March 2000. These forecasts, and today's figures, should give New Zealanders confidence in the future," he concluded.

ENDS


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