18 October, 2012
Labour’s “jobs crisis” doesn’t stack up
Labour leader David Shearer’s decision to give a speech on employment and training in Canterbury today, a region with massive jobs growth, is the latest in a string of hapless own goals, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
“In January there were 5185 people on an unemployment benefit in Christchurch – today there’s 3131,” Mr Brownlee says.
“David Shearer has had all week in Parliament to try and give credibility to his claims of a jobs crisis, but decided to focus on a video tape that doesn’t exist.
“Now he’s given a speech on employment in a city full of manufacturing and other business success stories and where the government has spent an extra $43 million on additional trades training places to help supply skilled workers to the city’s recovery.
“David Shearer’s like a man in a maze with an upside down map and jam jar glasses,” Mr Brownlee says.
“But the fact is Mr Shearer would have difficulty finding an appropriate place to scaremonger about jobs, because job numbers aren’t just good in Canterbury – on a year-on-year basis job availability is improving right across New Zealand.
“Just two weeks ago Trade Me Jobs noted a 12.3 per cent national increase in advertised job vacancies on a year ago, with double digit growth across most regions.
“While 43.7 per cent growth in Canterbury vacancies over a year won’t have surprised anyone given the scale of the rebuild, it was actually the third highest positive change behind 49.8 per cent in Marlborough and 47.5 per cent in Otago,” Mr Brownlee says.
“Other notable areas of strong growth in vacancies are 37.1 per cent in Gisborne, 27.2 per cent in Nelson/Tasman, 22.6 per cent in Taranaki, and 22.2 per cent in the Bay of Plenty.
“These are big increases, suggesting employers large and small view their futures positively,” Mr Brownlee says.