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More jobs, higher wages for Maori

29 October 2006

More jobs, higher wages for Maori

A significant drop in unemployment and high wage growth among Maori are both excellent news for social and economic development, Social Development Minister David Benson-Pope and Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia said today.

The Department of Labour’s Maori Labour Market Outcomes report shows Maori unemployment fell 5.7 percentage points between the end of June 2000 and the end of June 2006, from 14.2 per cent to 8.5 per cent. This was more than twice the fall of 2.2 percentage points in Pakeha unemployment.

Over the same period, the number of Maori employed increased by an average of 3.1 per cent a year, while average hourly earnings rose by an average of 4 per cent a year. In the year ending June 2006, Maori labour force participation stood at 67.3 per cent.

“Strong economic growth has enabled these achievements," Mr Benson-Pope said. "Continued economic growth, along with initiatives like Working New Zealand and Working for Families, will further boost employment opportunities and income levels for all New Zealanders, including Maori.

Mr Horomia said the results were good news for all New Zealanders.

“Let's all acknowledge the progress that we've made. Fewer Maori are unemployed, and more Maori are earning more money," he said. "The focus with the Maori workforce, as with the general labour market, is to increase skills and productivity, to lift wages higher, and fuel economic transformation.”

"We still have some way to go, and I'm proud to be part of a government that is committed to that journey. The Labour-led Government invests in people's futures, and we're seeing the results in this report."

ENDS

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