Un­em­ploy­ment rate rises in the re­gion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

In­vest­ing in ed­u­ca­tion and skills train­ing is one way to halt in­creas­ing un­em­ploy­ment, now at more than 5 per cent in the Welling­ton re­gion, says Mana MP Kris Faafoi.

New fig­ures show un­em­ploy­ment in this re­gion rose from 4.8 per cent to 5.4 per cent in the De­cem­ber quar­ter.

Mr Faafoi said so­cial agen­cies he has vis­ited are cop­ing ad­mirably, but are go­ing ‘‘flat stick’’.

‘‘A to­tal of 15,700 peo­ple in [ this] re­gion are unem­ployed now,’’ he said.

‘‘There is gen­uine hard­ship in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘Too many fam­i­lies in Mana are find­ing it too hard to do the ba­sics be­cause one or both bread­win­ners can’t find work.’’

He said the Na­tional Gov­ern­ment ‘‘has sat on the side­line’’ too long and has no dis­cernible plan to cre­ate jobs, un­like our trans-Tas­man neigh­bours.

‘‘We should take a les­son from Aus­tralia, which has in­vested heav­ily in ed­u­ca­tion and skills train­ing to get peo­ple into work dur­ing the global fi­nan­cial down­turn,’’ he said.

Na­tional List MP Hekia Parata coun­tered by say­ing the coun­try was in a ‘‘slow re­cov­ery’’ and it was not un­com­mon for un­em­ploy­ment num­bers to rise in the De­cem­ber quar­ter.

‘‘In the last few months we have seen an in­flux of 15,000 stu­dents look­ing for work over the sum­mer break. In De­cem­ber alone, Stu­dent Job Search found work for 3800 of them.’’

Ms Parata said Jan­uary fig­ures high­lighted the fact 6119 Ki­wis na­tion­wide went off the ben­e­fit and found work, in­clud­ing 1849 Maori, 354 Pa­cific Is­landers and 1943 young peo­ple. This showed Na­tional had set the coun­try on the road to stronger growth, mean­ing more busi­ness con­fi­dence, with wages and em­ploy­ment ex­pected to grow, she said.

‘‘Na­tional has man­aged the coun­try through the worst of the re­ces­sion with­out cut­ting en­ti­tle­ments and with un­em­ploy­ment peak­ing well be­low ini­tial fore­casts.’’

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