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Cautious optimism in employment data

Thursday 9th May 2013

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BusinessNZ has greeted the latest employment survey with cautious optimism.

The Household Labour Force Survey for the March quarter shows employment up 1.7 percent, with 38,000 more people employed since the last quarter.

The unemployment rate is down from 6.8 percent to 6.2 percent.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says the results should be treated with caution as the figures can bounce around between quarters, but the underlying trend is positive.

Canterbury is showing strong growth in employment as expected, and most regions outside Canterbury are also recording increases. 

The trend for youth employment is also positive, with a 2 percent increase in employment; however the overall numbers of young people not in employment, education or training is still far too high, Mr O’Reilly said.

“The figures overall send a message that it is important to continue to focus on policies that promote a strong economy and business confidence, so businesses - in particular small and medium businesses - continue to create jobs.

“With regard to youth employment, the need for a focus on young people gaining employable skills is paramount.  It is critically important for our schools, families and education and training systems to make this our highest priority,” Mr O’Reilly said. 

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