INDEPENDENT NEWS

No cause for complacency for unemployment drop

Published: Thu 3 Aug 2000 12:45 AM
Unemployment drop welcome, but no cause for complacency – Maharey
Employment Minister Steve Maharey says that today's announcement of a drop in unemployment to 6.1 per cent is a welcome one.
"Over the past 12 months we have seen a decrease in unemployment with 16,000 fewer people unemployed now than at the same time last year. Employment has grown by 17,000 over this period with full-time employment up by 28,000"
"The decrease in Maori unemployment is particularly welcome – Maori unemployment is now at 13.0 per cent, compared to 18.2 per cent a year ago.
I also welcome the fact that we have seen a drop in unemployment in the regions – the decrease in Northland and in Gisborne/Hawkes Bay is a positive sign for these regions"
"However Steve Maharey indicated that there is no cause for complacency:
"While the medium term outlook for the economy continues to be strong, we have seen a decline in employment growth for the last two quarters, and a reduction in the labour force participation rate. On the basis of these figures there is no evidence at all of any tightening in the labour market, nor do these figures suggest any over-heating of the economy"
"I am confident that the medium term prospects for the economy are strong. What is required now is strong and sustainable employment growth, and the Government remains committed to policies that will underpin that growth, and to working with the business community and local government to this end"

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