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The number of New Zealanders with jobs has fallen by 4000 in the past three months according to today’s Stats NZ labour market figures, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“When this Government came to office there were 10,000 new jobs being created every month. That meant more people getting ahead and being able to provide for themselves and their families, and less dependence on government assistance.

“Yet in the past three months, jobs growth was negative with 4000 fewer Kiwis in a job. The slight drop in the unemployment rate was driven by a fall in the number of people seeking work and not by jobs growth.

“The most logical explanation for the drop in the number of jobs is that businesses are no longer willing to take a risk and hire new staff because they are being whacked with more and more costs.

“And the Government is making it easier for people to sit on the benefit instead of going out and getting a job. In the past year, the number of people receiving a jobseeker benefit has increased by 13,000.

“National believes that one of the best ways to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders is to give someone a secure job with a good income. Unfortunately, under this Government, fewer businesses are willing to take on extra staff and more people are choosing to sit on the benefit instead of getting a job.

“The Government needs to make it easier for businesses to grow by reducing costs, regulations and taxes. And it needs to encourage Kiwis into work by making work more attractive than the benefit.

“National understands that a strong economy with more jobs and higher incomes is the best way to improve wellbeing.”

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