Where are the jobs National?
The CTU is dismayed that the National Government has been unable to bring the number of people who are unemployed, down.
“New Zealanders need more jobs. The government has a critical role to play in job creation, but is not doing enough,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg.
“Unemployment, unchanged from December and barely down on a year ago, is still too high at 147,000 people or 6.0 percent. Despite high GDP growth rates, New Zealand is 11th in unemployment in the OECD, and still worse than Australia even with its slowing growth. For young people aged 15-24 years, the proportion of those not in employment, education or training has risen from 11.3 percent in December to 11.8 percent in March. The unemployment rate for 20-24 year olds has also risen compared to a year ago.” Rosenberg said.
“People are being forced off benefits into work. The statistics show many people and not finding it easier to find jobs. The number of people wanting work or more hours and unable to find them is increasing. The number who are jobless has risen to 254,100 from 251,400 a year ago. Part-timers wanting more hours have risen from 83,300 to 95,800 over the year,” says Rosenberg.
“Wage growth remains slow, especially given the rise in productivity over the last five years which mean that the economy can well afford strong wage growth, and wage and salary earners are well overdue for catch-up increases.” Rosenberg said.
The average wage rose only 1.0 percent in real terms in the last year, and has risen only 1.6 percent in real terms since 2009. The Labour Cost Index barely kept up with inflation in the last year. It’s down 1.7 percent since 2009.
“Workers are overdue for much lower unemployment and decent wage rises, this Government is not doing enough” Rosenberg says.