09 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Key and English failing on jobs
The Prime Minister and his Finance Minister are failing to Kiwis on the most basic and important economic level – jobs, says David Shearer.
“Yesterday’s appalling unemployment data should have sent shock-waves through the Government. At 7.3% unemployment is at a 13-year high – up 0.5%, representing 13,000 more people unemployed, in just three months.
“There number of jobless people in this country is now almost 300,000. One in four of our young people aged 15-19 are unemployed. Maori and Pasifika unemployment has topped 15%. It’s a disgrace.
“But the response of John Key and Bill English was little more than a shrug of the shoulders and a few muttered excuses.
“It’s just not good enough for John Key to state he is surprised at the latest Household Labour Force Survey and say “goodness knows what the next one will look like.” How could he be surprised – hasn’t he noticed the almost daily roll-call of job cuts and business closures?
“It is disappointing to hear the Finance Minister try to downplay the seriousness of the situation by saying “these numbers don’t fit with some of the other indicators,” and “these sort of numbers jump around.”
“Who do they think they are kidding? Unemployment is not some inconvenient number to be swept away under the carpet and ignored.
“These are people’s lives we are talking about. When jobs go, families suffer. There should be no greater priority for the Government then addressing unemployment.
“Perhaps John Key should start getting serious about jobs, rather than spending his time making bad jokes about footballers and red shirts. In September he described the HLFS as “the most rigorous form of measuring employment in the economy.”
“Well, that same survey is telling him today that his Government is failing Kiwis when it comes to jobs,” says David Shearer.