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Thread: Unemployment surges to 9 year high

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    Default Unemployment surges to 9 year high

    Unemployment surges to 9 year high
    Page 1 of 2 .... 12:25PM Thursday Aug 06, 2009

    The unemployment rate has surged to a nine-year high, rising to 6 per cent in the three months to June from 5 per cent the previous quarter, with women bearing the brunt of rising joblessness.

    The Household Labour Force Survey, published today by Statistics New Zealand (SNZ), also showed seasonally adjusted employment falling 0.4 per cent to 2.17 million, while the number of unemployed rose 20.6 per cent to a 10-year high 138,000.

    The unemployment rate has been increasing for the past six quarters from a low of 3.5 per cent in the December 2007 quarter.

    Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett said the unemployment rise was a concern.

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    Recession drives unskilled teens back into study
    4:00AM Friday Aug 07, 2009
    By Simon Collins

    Young New Zealanders have gone back to study in record numbers as unskilled jobs have disappeared in the recession.

    The latest household labour force survey, published yesterday, confirms young people are bearing the brunt of the downturn, with a net 23,400 teenagers losing their jobs in the past year.

    But the number of all adults aged 15-plus in formal study has leaped by even more - a record 33,500.

    New Zealand's overall unemployment rate jumped from 4 per cent a year ago and 5 per cent in March to a nine-year high of 6 per cent in June, leapfrogging Australia's rate of 5.8 per cent for the first time since December.

    The increase was worse than expected and halted the recent rise in the exchange rate, bringing the kiwi down marginally.

    Two-thirds of the 18,200 lost jobs in the past year were in retailing and wholesaling, with the next biggest losses in farming, forestry and fishing, transport, storage and communications, and manufacturing.

    But these were partly offset by continued job growth in health and community services and to a lesser extent in business and financial services.

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    Govt boosts number of Winz staff
    55,272 on the dole at end of July
    Last updated 15:35 07/08/2009

    LATEST: Another 303 frontline staff will be hired by Work and Income to help people find jobs, the Government said today.

    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said an extra $17.2 million was being invested to pay for them because of rising unemployment.

    "Work and Income agreed it could manage numbers on the unemployment benefit up to 60,000," she said.

    "However, as that figure grows closer, extra staff will be required."

    There were 55,272 people on the dole at the end of July, documents released today showed.

    "Today's announcement means the right resources can be deployed right now to the right areas," she said.

    "It's important that help is provided upfront so as many people as possible can get work and avoid having to go on a benefit."

    Of the 303 extra staff, 104 have already been recruited to work in the Auckland area.

    Ms Bennett said the department had lifted its game and was finding jobs for people.

    "Its vacancy numbers are actually more than 50 percent higher than for this time last year despite growing unemployment," she said.

    Speaking at a press conference in Auckland, Ms Bennett said she was asking more of her staff.

    "I'm asking them to look wider at the job market. I'm asking them to do skill matches and where the person can go into," she said.

    Work and Income's regional commissioner for social development, Isabel Evans, said that with the extra staff the department would be on the front foot all the time.

    "But I can't stress enough we have to have the jobs there for our clients," she said.

    "Widening and broadening the number of employers we have working with us, talking to us when they do have any recruitment needs, is equally as important as working intensively and more closely with our clients."

    Statistics issued yesterday showed the unemployment rate had increased to 6 percent and the number of people without jobs was at a 10-year high of 138,000.

    Overall, unemployment benefit numbers are up by 34,726, an increase of 169 percent, since July last year.

    The documents say the figures should be seen in perspective.

    "In June 1999 over 150,000 people were receiving the unemployment benefit and in March 2003 it was around 100,000 almost double what it is today.

    "At this time four years ago there were about 51,000 people receiving the unemployment benefit."

    The documents say 18 to 24-year-olds accounted for 33 percent of people on the dole at the end of July, compared with 23 percent a year earlier.

    Over that period the numbers for the age group rose from 4749 to 18,161.

    NZPA

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