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Highest Ever Loss of Kiwis to Australia


21 September 2012
Highest Ever Loss of Kiwis to Australia

The Council of Trade Unions says that the continued loss of Kiwis to Australia at record levels shows our economy is not creating decent jobs.

Statistics NZ said today that a record 53,900 people left permanently or long term for Australia in the year ending August 2012. This led to the highest-ever net annual loss of 40,000 people to Australia.

There are 271,000 jobless and another 110,000 looking for extra hours of work and these figures, shocking as they are, would be even worse if it was not for the outflow to Australia.

Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, says “when in opposition the National Party said it would take action to stem the loss of people to Australia but while in Government it has got worse. We are losing high value manufacturing jobs, unemployment is high, and the Government seems to have lost interest in initiatives to reduce the loss of people to Australia”.

This huge outflow undermines communities, separates family members, and captures NZ investment in education and training for the benefit of Australia.

“Kiwis will always want to travel and many will want to work overseas for a while, but the scale of this loss to Australia is damaging”.

Peter Conway said that “we are increasingly worried that the skilled work opportunities that will be created by the Christchurch rebuild are being lost, with reports that over half the jobs will be going to migrants rather than putting in place intensive efforts to train people in New Zealand to do the jobs and help them with relocation and accommodation.

Unions stand for decent work and we recognise that action is needed to lift in the minimum wage, improve wages in general through improvements to collective bargaining, including the development of industry-wide agreements, and a focus on renewed efforts to lift productivity and share the benefits with workers.”


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