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Good as it gets under Nats is not good enough

Thu Nov 4 1999

'If this is as good as unemployment gets under National and Act, it is nowhere near good enough,' Alliance leader Jim Anderton said today following the release of Household Labour Force Survey figures.'Treasury says that under National-Act policies we will have the same rate of unemployment for the next fifty years.'Small statistical changes in the unemployment rate cannot obscure the facts. The number of new jobs in the last quarter has barely kept pace with the growth in the labour force.'There are 205,000 jobless New Zealanders. 'The unemploymen t rate among Maori is 14.8% and among Pacific Islanders is 15%. 'There are 10,300 fewer 20-24 year olds in employment today than there were a year ago.'The highest unemployment rates are those affecting 15-19 year olds, who are experiencing a 16% unemployment rate. 'National and Act are putting enormous barriers in the road to the future for our young people, with extreme levels of unemployment and enormous student debt burdens. No wonder we have the world's highest rate of youth suicide. The Alliance believes that everyone under 20 should be in education, training or work - not on the dole.'There needs to be significant reduction in unemployment. All we are really getting at the moment is broadly the same level of unemployment with only enough jobs to keep up with changes in the population.'The Alliance will create 80,000 more jobs than National and Act, by investing in job-rich new industries in regional areas and increasing tariffs on imports from countries other than Australia by 5%.'

Visit http://www.alliance.org.nz for more information about the Alliance

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