New statistics show that in just Labour’s first six months, long term unemployment has grown around 10%” says ACT
Employment Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman.
In response to a written question, the Minister of Social Services and Employment, Mr Maharey, has revealed that the
number of people registered unemployed over 6 months has grown 12,000 from 139,000 to 151,000, and the number over 1
year by 10,000 from 88,800 to 98,222, an increase of 10.5%.
“These figures show an average 10% increase in just the first six months of Labour, despite their inheritance of a
strong economy and a relatively buoyant labour market” said Muriel Newman.
“These figures are a worry on their own, but given Maori are so seriously over represented in long term unemployment
statistics (around 33%, yet are only around 10% of the workforce), they raise serious questions around the substance of
Labour’s “closing the gaps” in Employment and Welfare”.
“The Responsibility for these statistics lies fairly and squarely with Mr Maharey as the Minister in charge of Work and
Income New Zealand. It raises questions over his soft approach to Welfare”.
The number of unemployed is the direct result of the economy, but the length of time people are out of work is the
reason for the creation of, and the responsibility of WINZ.
“The planned removal of the Work for the Dole scheme, Steve Maharey’s flip flops with Rankin, his removal of sanctions,
his unprecedented reconsideration of Welfare debts at the request of the Beneficiary Unions, are all symptomatic of a
Minister who is actually getting in the way of his Department, rather than leading it” said Muriel Newman.
“The numbers of entrenched very long term unemployed are also growing, with the number of unemployed over 2 years rising
4,000 to 48,354. I am extremely concernced that they will further deteriorate seriously”.
“At this rate, Labour is likely to see a 50% increase in long term unemployment if they last 3 years”.
“Mr Maharey must abandon his soft on Welfare approach, build on the Work for the Dole scheme and the Community Wage, get
the long term unemployed active , so that they can get back into work,’’ said Muriel Newman.