Growth in Employment pleasing says Minister

  • Wyatt Creech

Total employment in New Zealand continues to grow strongly, and unemployment has fallen slightly, Minister of Employment, Wyatt Creech, said today. He was commenting on today's release of the Household Labour Force Survey from Statistics New Zealand.

" It's very pleasing to see that the total number of people in work continues to increase. 63,000 more people have gained jobs over the last year to June.

"And even though the economy has slowed a little, the fact that employment has grown and the unemployment rate has dropped demonstrates the resilience of the labour market, and confidence in our policies" said Mr Creech.

"The fall in long-term unemployment is equally pleasing - it shows the measures we are taking to help long-term job seekers are working. These include tailored programmes and regional initiatives."

Seasonally adjusted figures out today show that New Zealand's unemployment rate was 6.1% to June this year, a fall of 0.1% from the March quarter. Long-term unemployment (over 26 weeks) at 36,500 is 13.1% lower than a year ago.

Employment has grown 3.9% since June last year, with 1, 686,000 people now in work.

The Minister said there were a number of other positive things about today's figures.

" We compare very favourably with other countries - we're now 6th lowest on the list of 25 OECD countries, and below Australia's unemployment rate of 8.8%.

" Participation in the labour force is increasing for all groups. It's pleasing to see that this strong growth in employment is including people like the Pacific Island and `other' ethnic groups; and that employment amongst older age groups is up. Auckland is making a particularly strong showing.

"The sort of industries that are growing offer many good part-time as well as full-time jobs, so there are increased opportunities for people who want part-time work. The new abatement rates on benefits also help" said Mr Creech.

The quarterly Household Labour Force Survey is the official, internationally-recognised measure of employment in New Zealand, and enables international comparisons of unemployment.

Figures for registered unemployed for July were also released today by New Zealand Employment Service. These showed a fall of 1,213 (0.8%) from July last year, and a fall of 6,611 (9.6%) in long-term unemployed - those registered for 26 weeks or longer - on last July's figures. The register has risen by 3,106 overall since last month, mainly due to seasonal factors.