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500 new jobs each week - English

Five hundred New Zealanders found a new job each week in the last year and people are moving from part-time into full-time employment, Treasurer Bill English said today.

"These figures confirm we are having a job-rich recovery. Employment levels are now at their highest ever. Over the last year there were 25,000 new jobs created in New Zealand - that's nearly 500 each week. Significantly, all of this increase was in full-time employment, which tells us that people are moving from part-time jobs into full-time jobs.

"Unemployment is now down to 6.8%, which is the lowest it's been for nearly two years, and it is a story that is happening right across the country. All regions in New Zealand now have single-figure unemployment rates.

"Yet again we have a lower unemployment rate than Australia, which is significant. While there is no doubting the quality of Australia's economic performance, New Zealand's open, flexible labour market has been a key factor in our lower unemployment even though in the last 18 months we've had a lot less growth.

"In New Zealand, with this Government's framework, growth translates directly into jobs. Having workplace-based employment arrangements under the ECA is a key to this. We have fewer barriers standing between employers and the people they need to employ.

"Since the end of 1991 289,000 new jobs have been created in New Zealand. Over the next three years 115,000 more new jobs are forecast. That is 740 new jobs a week, even faster employment growth than we have seen over the past year.

"Today's figures are a timely reminder of the importance of building on an economic policy that focuses on growth, and that has flexible labour markets based on the ECA, because the real pay-off from this framework is jobs.

"There is no better thing a government can do for people than deliver more employment," said Mr English.

Ends

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