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Manufacturing employment falls

Manufacturing employment falls

The latest Statistics New Zealand Household Labour Force Survey shows an increase in the unemployment rate to 6.4%, as well as a significant decrease in the number of people employed in manufacturing, say the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA).

NZMEA Chief Executive John Walley says, “The number of people employed in manufacturing fell by 3600 when compared to the March 2013 quarter, and is down 3900 when comparing year on year, to the June 2012 quarter.”

“While employment in many other sectors has seen growth, manufacturing has not; underlining our two-speed economy as the tradable sector, on which we all depend continues to struggle. This is not a sustainable position.”

“We have seen the recent example of Holcim’s cement production on the road to closing, choosing to import from overseas. This seems to be the path we are on, a result of having a relatively unsupportive environment for productive activity compared to other countries.”

“Continuing to operate a two-speed economy will hollow out much of the manufacturing activity that supports many jobs and economic activity elsewhere in our economy.”

“This effect and realistic policy responses were outlined earlier in the year by the Manufacturing Inquiry.”

“Is it time we started to value manufacturing and put policies in place to create a supportive, globally competitive environment. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and if we don’t care about manufacturing in New Zealand, it will go. There needs to be a broad recognition that New Zealand needs manufacturing more than manufacturing needs New Zealand.”

“We have seen today that Government is willing to jump in to help stop a potential closure when it aligns with their asset sale commitment; notable by its absence is the same commitment to the rest of the manufacturing sector.”

“Is it wise to default to a position that sees our economy to rely on services, many of which depend on manufacturing activity, and agriculture? What is the future for our economy if we depend more and more on less and less, through neglect, losing complexity, capacity and capability?”

ENDS

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