Employment rates at record high

Today’s record employment rate of 68.3 percent, matched by the lowest unemployment rate of 3.9 percent in over a decade means better lives for thousands of New Zealanders, Minister of Employment Willie Jackson says.

“There are now over 2.66 million New Zealanders in employment which means that 29,000 more people and families are engaged in earning since the last quarterly results were released”, says Willie Jackson.

“The difference this makes to the lives of whanau and communities is significant and should be celebrated, especially as we know that employment has a massive impact on whether our children live in poverty or not.

“This coalition Government’s commitment and investment in regional New Zealand is having a major impact on employment, particularly in the Waikato, Otago and Gisborne/Hawkes Bay and I want to highlight the fantastic results in Taranaki, where 4,300 more people are now in employment.

“The underutilisation result for this quarter has continued the recent downward trend and has fallen further to 11.3 percent. This is an indication that people who want to work, are able to work.

“The reduction in the unemployment rate for Māori to 8.5 percent (down from 9.9 percent) is a further example of our continued focus on improving outcomes for our people and while this is the lowest it has been in over a decade, the work doesn’t stop.

“I remain committed to seeing these rates reduce further and part of this will be my ongoing focus on rangatahi who are not earning or learning”, says Willie Jackson.

Today’s Household Labour Force Survey release shows a further reduction in the NEET rates for 15-24 year olds from 10.9 to 10.1 percent.  This is a down from the same time last year when our young people not earning or learning were at 11.3 percent.

“The Government is committed to making New Zealand the best place in the world to raise a child and this, in my view, starts with ensuring that real work, and real incomes are available for all New Zealanders.  Today’s survey release shows we are absolutely on the right track”, says Willie Jackson.