Unemployment rate falls from 7.1 to 6 percent   6 May 2010

New Zealand Government - The number of New Zealanders in work has swelled by 22,000 in the last quarter while the number of those unemployed has fallen by 25,000.

“I’m thrilled to see the first drop in the unemployment rate in two years,” says Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett.

“This positive move shows the Government’s focus on jobs is paying off, with more people finding work and fewer out of work, but clearly we still have a long way to go,” says Ms Bennett.

There are now 2,177,000 New Zealanders employed, up by one percent, the magnitude of which was unexpected.

The number of unemployed young people has fallen by 6,500 over the last quarter to 66,300.

“We will continue to put a strong focus on helping young people find work, with programmes like Job Ops, Straight to Work and through industry partnerships,” says Ms Bennett.

Unemployed Maori make up 13.6 percent and Pacific island people account for 13.3 percent of those who are officially unemployed.

“Clearly we must continue to concentrate on Maori and Pacific unemployment and our young,” says Ms Bennett.

New Zealand’s 6 percent unemployment rate compares to UK (7.8%), Australia (5.3%), Canada (8.2%) and Ireland (13.1%).

The official unemployment rate is a standard indicator used as an international comparison that counts all working age people who are looking and available for one or more hours work a week.

Benefit figures measure the amount of people who are receiving a Government benefit such as the Unemployment, Sickness, Domestic Purposes or Invalids benefits.


Note to Ed: Last quarter’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.3 percent has been readjusted by Statistics New Zealand to 7.1 percent.


ENDS

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