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Unemployment doesn’t have to be this high

Media Release: National Distribution Union (NDU)
Thursday May 5, 2011

Unemployment doesn’t have to be this high

Unemployment doesn’t have to be this high and could come down quicker with better monetary policy and industry support from government, the National Distribution Union said today.

Unemployment is down slightly, at 6.6%, according to Statistics NZ figures released this morning.

But Robert Reid, NDU General Secretary, said that there remained a risk that jobs lost in the recession would not be replaced.

Industries such as wood processing remained weak, and without better economic policies, these industries would not be able to create or replace jobs, he said.

“We have lost over 1,000 jobs in wood processing since 2008. Just this week, Nelson wood processors have been saying the high dollar and high price of logs is meaning they are cutting production, hours and jobs.”

“There has been talk about the use of New Zealand timber in the Christchurch rebuild.”

“But if there are no local wood processors left to manufacture the wood required, then we may well see the ultimate irony of Christchurch being rebuilt in wood, but subsidised wood from Chile and Canada rather than from New Zealand forests.”

Robert Reid said that in addition to the government or log traders selling logs to the local processing industry at a realistic price, other measures to help the wood and other industries included tackling the exchange rate and improving government procurement policies

Ends.

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