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National Government needs a vision for job creation

“Every kiwi who wants a job should have access to a job; that’s a basic need of life in modern New Zealand. It should be a decent one that allows them secure income and to live in dignity as part of our community,” said CTU President Richard Wagstaff.

“Our Government, our leaders, have responsibility to take action to create good jobs. Job creation takes innovation and planning and most importantly it takes vision. This National Government lacks a vision for the creation of good jobs. It is not enough to continually create low paying jobs where people are not respected for their skills and their need for ongoing, satisfying work.”

The average wage rose only 1.3 percent in the last year – the lowest since 2010 when we were coming out of the Global Financial Crisis, and only just enough to keep up with rising costs. The rise was so small because much of the job growth was in low paid jobs in aged care, caring for people with disabilities, and in the tourism industry in accommodation and food services. “Many of these are not only low paid but are ones in which the people who do that work are not respected for the skills they bring nor given the training and support they need. That is why women in the care industries are fighting for equal pay and better recognition of their skills.”

Figures released from Statistics New Zealand today show that unemployment worsened again despite New Zealand being over 7 years out from the recession of 2009. There are 139,000 Kiwis officially unemployed, 10,000 more than 3 months ago, and 15,000 more than a year ago. There are another 216,000 who are looking for work or want more hours.

“We are increasingly concerned that the high levels of immigration are contributing to this poor record on unemployment and holding down wage growth”. Net immigration reached a new record of 70,600 in December. “Growth in employment means nothing if many Kiwis still can’t find good jobs. We support immigration, but it needs to be properly managed. Too much of it is in low wage, low skilled occupations.”

“More, much more, needs to be done so that we can have the freedom to create the best possible New Zealand for us, and for our kids,” Wagstaff said.