Figures out today from Stats New Zealand tell a bleak story about the labour market.
CTU President Richard Wagstaff comments, “Too many people are still unemployed and looking for more work – and nothing has been done about it.”
“A decade ago we had many fewer people unemployed, 3.3% of the labour force. Nine years of a National Government has seen policies introduced and decisions made which have resulted in many more Kiwis unable to find work.”
“If unemployment was at the level of 2007 there would be 40,000 fewer people suffering the indignity of unemployment because the National Government has no idea of how to get us back to where we were a decade ago. What’s more, the numbers of people who are off work for longer periods of time is getting worse. The proportion unemployed for more than six months (36.2%) is the highest it has been in June since 1995.”
“Today’s announcement also confirms that people who are in work are having their terms and conditions of employment go backwards. Real pay rates are continuing to fall behind the cost of living and any gains aren’t being shared fairly by working people. This is a result of employment laws that are heavily weighted against working people, this must change.”
“Kiwis deserve a fairer more equal framework for work, where there is enough work and it is fairly paid. We keep getting promises about how unemployment and wage levels will improve but today’s announcement shows how critical new ideas are to make this a reality.”
“Working Kiwis are putting in a big effort, working longer hours under increasing stress and should be fairly rewarded for their effort. That’s not happening and we need new ideas because this has become the new normal under this National Government,” Wagstaff said.