The number of Kiwis in the labour force has dropped by 33,000, showing Kiwis are opting out of looking for work in National’s stagnant economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“The number of people in the labour force has dropped by 33,000 and the labour force participation rate has dropped by 1.2 percentage points. The number of people employed has fallen by 23,000.
“Disappointed Kiwis are giving up on John Key’s brighter future. National’s hands-off policies are forcing Kiwis to opt out of looking for work or head to Australia.
“All across New Zealand there are tens of thousands of New Zealanders looking for work. Just last week 190 jobs were lost at Summit Wool Spinners in Oamaru – a desperate blow to the community.
“Bill English says his most important priority is welfare reform. That’s ridiculous. His priority should be getting Kiwis into work, not shuffling the benefits around.
“National promised to rebalance the economy but all they’ve done is tilt the balance even further in favour of their well-off supporters.
“We need an economy that creates jobs through exporting and modern manufacturing. Sadly National is content for us to simply export milk powder. Our current account deficit, high unemployment and population loss to Australia show National is inadequate.
“National has no ambitions for our economy. 163,000 Kiwis are looking for work, exports are falling, manufacturing outside agriculture is in trouble and we have a $10 billion external deficit, which is worse than every developed country bar Greece.
“The only part of the country with significant job growth is Canterbury, due to a tragedy and insurance inflows rather than any policy from the Government.
“New Zealanders want a Government that will take a hands on approach to get the economy moving and Kiwis into well-paid jobs.
“That’s Labour’s way. We have innovative economic policies that Kiwis support. Universal KiwiSaver will boost savings and create more investment to keep Kiwi companies in New Zealand. Our capital gains tax and research and development credits will ensure innovators are rewarded, not property speculators. KiwiBuild will create jobs in the construction sector.
“These are the policies that New Zealanders want and the economy needs.”