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Labour Force Survey reflects stability

8 May 2008 Media Statement

Labour Force Survey reflects stability in the face of economic challenges

The latest Household Labour Force Survey quarterly results shows that despite the global economic challenges, New Zealand’s employment levels have remained stable over the last year, says Employment Minister Ruth Dyson.

The survey shows the employment levels for the quarter of March 2008 are only 0.2 percent below the level of 12 months earlier.

The current 3.6 percent unemployment rate for the March quarter remains among the lowest rates ever recorded in New Zealand, and keeps us as the 6th lowest in the OECD.

Unemployment has sat below 4 percent for nearly four years. No other country in the OECD has achieved this. There has been a fall from the record high in the December quarter, when the unemployment rate was the lowest since the Household Labour Force Survey started.

There are still over 350,000 more jobs in our economy than there were in 1999. Over 140,000 fewer people are relying on working age benefits.

We have fundamentally changed expectations for the level of employment that can be sustained in our society.

Despite these enviable figures, the Labour-led Government, like many other countries, is mindful of the current global economic challenges. We take those challenges seriously.

This month Dr Cullen will deliver a budget that will reflect the seriousness of our economic challenges while continuing to plan for the strong future we all deserve.


For a full copy of the Household Labour Force Survey, go to:
www.stats.govt.nz


ENDS

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