INDEPENDENT NEWS

High Economic Growth Continues

Published: Thu 29 Mar 2001 03:57 PM
The latest quarterly economic growth figures show the Counties Manukau sub region boom continuing, with 7.8 per cent growth over the 2000 year, more than double the national growth rate.
Inflation over that period was 4 per cent, and employment was 4.6 per cent higher than the previous year.
Unemployment in Manukau fell to 6.9 per cent from 7.5 per cent a year earlier. The total number of jobless is 9,280.
Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis is pleased by the figures. “Our growth has slowed a little, but it is excellent to see we are continuing to expand at twice the rate of the nation as a whole. This means more jobs for local people, as the figures show. Every time a new business sets up, it needs staff. The City’s businesses are generating thousands of jobs each year.
“The growth makes for a more prosperous city with many spinoffs for the entire region. We have many businesses continuing to move here and I’ve no doubt the work of the Council’s Economic Development unit has played a big part in that.
“Our staff work hard at promoting the benefits of our City to prospective businesses, and making it easy for them to set up here.
“But although 7.8 per cent growth looks rosy, there may be a slowdown coming due to economic conditions overseas. However I’ve no doubt our strengths will keep us growing faster than anywhere else in New Zealand, “ Sir Barry said.
“Nonetheless the persistently high number of jobless people worries me. The irony is that employers simply can’t get all the skilled and qualified staff they need, which is crazy given that we have so many people needing to work.
“The reason for this is that many of the unemployed don’t have the qualifications or skills – or indeed any marketable skills – employers need.
“It’s a big challenge to upskill these jobseekers, and at the same time to encourage young people to stay at school and get the qualifications that will ensure they don’t end up on the scrap heap in future,” he said.
ENDS
Media contact
Gabrielle Hinton
Media Liaison
Corporate Communications Unit
Phone (09) 2628900 x 8650
Fax: (09) 2625759
Email: ghinton@manukau.govt.nz

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