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Luxton Hails Increased Agricultural Employment

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE USE
4 NOVEMBER 1999

Luxton Hails Increased Agricultural Employment

Food and Fibre Minister Hon John Luxton today pointed to improved primary sector employment figures as evidence of the Government's commitment to the rural sector.

The Household Labour Force Survey showed 22,000 jobs were created in "Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing" over the 12 months to September 1999. There are now more people employed in the sector than at any September Quarter since records began in 1985.

"Of the 24,500 jobs created in New Zealand over the last 12 months, 22,000 of them were created in the primary sector. Once again it shows that the food and fibre industries are the engine room of the economy," Mr Luxton said.

"With improving product prices and favourable climatic conditions, I am confident that the sector will continue to drive the economic recovery over the coming year.

"The figures are consistent with the mood of the country and the rural businesses I am talking to.

The traditional industries are showing positive signs of recovery. There is also an increasing diversity of land use with thriving new industries developing.

Olives, wasabi, avocados, flowers, truffles, and asparagus, are just some of the flourishing rural industries I have had the opportunity to visit recently - all contributing to increasing rural employment." Mr Luxton concluded.

ENDS




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