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Otago unemployed number hits 22 year high

Economic Development Spokesperson                        

8 August 2013     MEDIA STATEMENT

Otago unemployed number hits 22 year high

Otago now has the largest number of unemployed people since 1991 yet Steven Joyce is living in a dreamland by claiming he’s ‘very positive’ about Dunedin’s future, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. 

“Yesterday it was revealed that the number of unemployed in Otago to 7,800. That’s the highest number since 1991 – the Ruth Richardson years.

It comes off the back of hundreds of recent job losses in Otago. National is creating a two-speed economy where the regions are struggling.

“Everyone in Otago knows the economy is facing serious difficulties. Business leaders, local MPs, unions and the Mayor are all deeply concerned about the future of Otago and Dunedin.

“But Steven Joyce is blissfully, or wilfully, ignorant. He even said: ‘I'm very positive about the city's prospects & growth’. I’d hate to see what would have to happen before his concern is triggered.

“With that sort of attitude it’s no wonder Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is looking to lead a Dunedin delegation to explain the problems facing the country directly to Steven Joyce.

“Steven Joyce should get out of his Beehive office and get to Otago. Then he can say how positive he is to the hundreds of people who have lost jobs in recent months, including 112 people at Hillside, 73 people of NZ Post, 85 people at Invermay, 460 people at Presbyterian Support Otago, 10 people at PGG Wrightson, and 192 people at Summit Wool Spinners.

“Then he can make a visit to the 64 employees at Bradken who have had their hours reduced to 4 days a week because the Government’s procurement policy has failed,” says David Clark.


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