Unemployment rate in context
BusinessNZ says the six percent unemployment rate released today needs to be looked at in light of the economic events of the last two years.
Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says New Zealand has been in recession since early 2008, longer than other developed countries and well before the beginning of the global downturn.
“The economic environment has therefore been harder in New Zealand, and an unemployment rate of six percent – compared with much higher rates overseas – should be viewed in that context.
“It is very hard for unemployed people and their families. We do however have a sound unemployment support system and there are many public-private initiatives under way to help provide employment for those affected.
“The fact that the unemployment rate is not higher is a testament to the loyalty of New Zealand employers who have demonstrated great commitment to retaining staff.
“This is a good sign for the future as New Zealand firms will as a result be less likely to be held back by lack of key skills as the economy picks up.”