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Minister welcomes trends in employment figures

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development, Employment & Youth Affairs
4 August 2011

Minister welcomes trends in employment figures

While the unemployment rate remains steady at 6.5%, more New Zealanders are in work this quarter says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

“We’re seeing a slowly strengthening and resilient labour market, with employment indicators very gradually improving.”

There are now more than 2,214,000 New Zealanders in work, with another 61,000 jobs created since 2009.

‘Some of the trends we’re seeing are more full-time jobs, more women in work, increasing wages and more hours for workers,” says Ms Bennett.

The unemployment rate for Christchurch has risen slightly to 5.7% over the year, still lower than the national rate and there are more people in work.

We’ve seen remarkable resilience in Canterbury, while the earthquakes have had a very real impact, the Government’s focus on rebuilding and the community's determination have helped create jobs.”

The number of young people in work has risen by more than 5,400 over the last year to June and the number of young people Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) has fallen steadily from 10.7% to 9.8%.

“We’re seeing many young people making good decisions to stay in education or training if they aren’t in work,” says Ms Bennett.

“The number of unemployed 20-24 year olds has dropped by 4,000 (13%) while those employed rose by 9.2%,” says Ms Bennett.

The Maori unemployment rate went from 16.4% to 13.7% over the year, while Pacific Unemployment went from 14.1% to 13.1% over the year.

In the last month more than 6,700 New Zealanders went off welfare and into work, but at the same time the overall number of beneficiaries rose by 0.1%.

There are currently 327,990 people on benefits in New Zealand.

The main reason for the rise is a drop off in seasonal work with an extra 855 people on the Unemployment Benefit over July.

Both Auckland and Christchurch have seen Unemployment Benefits drop, while seasonal increases have been in Southern, Bay of Plenty and East Coast areas.

Benefits have increased around this time almost every year since 1996.

There are currently 57,119 people on an Unemployment Benefit, down from 63,059 at this time last year.

ENDS

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