Unemployment – a National disgrace
They say there are lies, damn lies and statistics.
Well, sometimes statistics tell the truth. And sometimes that truth is damning.
There are now 175,000 people unemployed in New Zealand. The unemployment rate is 7.3%. That’s the highest it has been for 13 years – since the last time National was in Government.
Long-term joblessness is rising steadily. One in four young Kiwis aged 15-19 is unemployed. The Maori unemployment rate has topped 15%.
But these statistics – as ugly as they are – only tell half the story. For every job lost there is a real person and a real family that has the ground cut out from under them.
Jobs matter, but this government doesn’t seem to care. How many more people will need to lose their jobs before John Key and Bill English admit their hands-off and hope economic policies are failing?
Every week I travel round the country and talk to people who are struggling to make ends meet. Every week more and more jobs are cut as manufacturers lose the battle with the high Kiwi dollar. Every week another thousand people give up on building a future in New Zealand and move across the Tasman.
Next weekend at Labour’s Annual Conference I will outline my vision for a very different type of government – a hands-on government that supports workers, families and businesses.
All the best,
Leader of the Labour Party
News in Brief
The report of the Royal Commission into the Pike River tragedy was hard-hitting and sobering. It told a tale of failure across the board – from the company to the Department of Labour, and many others in-between.
But it also highlights more broadly the issue of worker safety. New Zealand’s record of workplace accidents and deaths is shocking. Kiwi workers are twice as likely to be injured on the job as they are in Australia, and six times as likely as those in the UK. The Government is simply not addressing this woeful record. Labour will fight to keep workers safe on the job, so they can return home to their families at the end of the day.