Labour Market continues positive trend

  • Hon Willie Jackson

The Employment Minister acknowledges the release of the Household Labour Force Survey which shows an unemployment rate of 4.3%, the second lowest in nearly a decade.

Since this Government took office, we have continued to see employment rise, and unemployment falling and remaining low. We celebrate the lower unemployment rates for both Women and Māori, two areas of our community over-represented in previous releases.

Economists were predicting that the unemployment rate would fluctuate around its current level, which is low compared to our OECD peers.

Since we came into office, the Household Labour Force Survey shows the number of people unemployed is down by 8,000 and people employed are up by 75,000. Wages are up by 3.1% over the past year - all signs of solid underlying economic fundamentals.

The results released are in keeping with our expectations for this quarter and we are confident that in this strong economy, if we continue to listen to employers and work with industry, many people looking for work will find more opportunities to do so.

This Government continues to focus our efforts on activating our young people, through our programmes such as He Poutama Rangatahi, Mana in Mahi, the Provincial Growth Fund and our ‘first year fees free tertiary education’,” says Willie Jackson.

“One area that has always concerned me is the story within the story, and the underutilisation rates in these surveys represent this.  Despite unemployment near record lows, there are still many people in our communities who can do more and want to do more.  I have asked my Officials to investigate this ‘underutilisation’ issue, as I believe there may be an opportunity to address many of the workforce issues employers are currently facing by tapping into this unused resource.

“The number of New Zealanders in employment this quarter is still on the increase, and as I’ve always said, this represents real people, real families and real communities who are seeing a difference in their lives, something we should all celebrate”

We have achieved so much all ready but as today’s release shows, there is more for us to do and I remain committed to working alongside employers and communities to do just that.