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Unemployment Figures Suggest a Jobless Recovery

CTU Media Release

4 August 2011

Unemployment Figures Suggest a Jobless Recovery

Today’s unemployment figures showing 154,000 people or 6.5 percent of people out of work raise a major concern that we are seeing a jobless recovery.

Peter Conway, CTU Secretary said that “much has been made of a 1.3 percent lift in GDP in the six months until March 2011, but we are not seeing unemployment fall off the back of such tentative growth as we emerge from the recession”.

In fact the rate of increase in employment has drastically slowed in the June quarter to only 1000 jobs.

The level of 154,000 people out of work compares with 90,000 unemployed in June 2008.

We are also seeing now the impact on unemployment in Canterbury due to the earthquakes.

The jobless number which includes those discouraged from looking for work is over a quarter of a million people at 251,000. There are also 111,500 part timers seeking additional hours of work to make ends meet.

Youth unemployment remains very high at 27.6 percent, Maori unemployment is 13.7 per cent and Pacific people have an unemployment rate of 13.1 percent.

Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, says that “unemployment needs to be a higher priority for this Government”.

The Government should expand the skills investment subsidy and ‘straight to work’ payments to encourage employers to take on workers, establish more schemes like Enhanced Task Force Green, back New Zealand jobs in government procurement, and stop cuts to public service jobs.

“And there is a clear need for targeted initiatives to those in the labour force in groups that have the highest rates of unemployment”.

ENDS

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