Over 17,000 manufacturing jobs were lost last year, showing the sector needs new ideas and action to halt its decline, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“2012 was a bad year for workers in the manufacturing sector. There were 17,200 fewer people in jobs at the end of it with the number falling every quarter. It doesn’t come as a surprise with jobs cuts being announced every week.
“Summit Wool Spinners is the first big jobs cut announcement of the year. It shows how precarious manufacturing is.
“John Key doesn’t seem to realise that behind the 17,000 figure are Kiwis trying to find another job and families struggling to pay the bills.
“National refuses to take action on manufacturing. They’ve left that up to Labour and our fellow opposition parties to set up the Manufacturing Inquiry.
“A strong manufacturing sector creates good jobs that pay good wages. That’s something Kiwis desperately need. It also boosts exports. That reduces the staggering $10 billion gap between what we buy and pay in interest and what we sell offshore that we as a country need to close.
“Modern manufacturing using new technology is the future for better jobs, more exports and higher incomes. That’s how we support the thousands who lost their jobs last year.”
7 February 2013 Media Statement