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Government fails to stem rising unemployment tide

Annette King
Social Development Spokesperson

19 January 2011
Media Statement

Government fails to stem rising unemployment tide

New figures showing more than 67,000 New Zealanders are now out of work and relying on an unemployment benefit to survive proves the Government has no plan to create jobs or to grow our economy, says Labour's Social Development spokesperson Annette King.

"The promises John Key keeps making about job creation and getting New Zealanders off benefits are now ringing very hollow. After two years in power, he is failing abysmally.

"In Australia, 1000 new jobs were created each day last year. Compare that to New Zealand where there are now 67,084 people on an unemployment benefit - an increase of 4536 over the December month.

"John Key promised New Zealanders that we would come aggressively out of the recession but the economy is stagnating. While he dithers around talking up cycle-ways and job summits, the number of kiwis out of work continues to grow.

"There are now more than 350,000 New Zealanders receiving benefits - an increase of 10,631 from November to December last year. That's a grim record for this Government which promised so much but is failing to deliver," said Annette King.

Labour's Youth Affairs spokesperson Jacinda Ardern is also concerned that many of those signing up for the unemployment benefit are young people who have recently finished training.

Those signing up for Unemployment Benefit Student Hardship student grants rose a whopping 130% from November to December.

"These young people are keen to get out there in the workforce but because National is failing to create jobs for them, they are being forced to claim a benefit rather than a paycheck.

"How many of these young kiwis are now going to take their education and head off to Australia to start their careers because they simply can't get a job here? said Jacinda Ardern.

ENDS

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