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Gisborne's unemployment increases

GISBORNE’S unemployment problems, already the worst in New Zealand, have grown worse, new statistics show.

Figures provided by Statistics New Zealand to The Gisborne Herald today show at the end of last month Gisborne’s unemployment rate had climbed to 10.9 percent, up from 10.3 percent at the same time last year and almost two percent worse than in the previous quarter.

In total, the figures represent a rise in the region’s jobless of about 600 more people out of work, from the same time last year, with the region’s jobless total now standing at 3300.

But there was also a rise in the regional workforce, which grew from 26,300 to 30,000, over the last 12 months.

According to the Government’s official Labour Market statistics the unemployment rate for the combined Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay area was 8.4 percent ( the same as Northland), but when taken separately, Hawke’s Bay’s unemployment rate was just 7.4 percent, compared with 10.9 percent in Gisborne.

Statistics NZ pointed out that the additional survey estimates provided were “below the design level” and should be treated as indicative only.

Labour demands budget responseLabour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said the rising rate here demanded a response from the Government in the upcoming Budget.

“After eight years under National it is extraordinary that 144,000 New Zealanders are unemployed, almost 40,000 more than when they came to power. The Government has run out of excuses. It should be delivering by now.

“In Northland and Gisborne the unemployment rate is back over 8 percent. The Budget needs to deliver a boost to the regions through investment in infrastructure and support the growth of high value jobs.

“With the labour force growing by 1.5 percent and unemployment increasing, it’s clear that the labour market is not keeping up with population growth.”

Employment Minister Steven Joyce said the latest figures reflected the second strong quarter of job growth in a row.

“Overall the economy has created 51,000 new jobs over the last six months, which underlines a strong economic bounce-back since the slower growth period in the first half of the 2015 calendar year,” he said.