Job loss figures reveal grim reality of COVID lockdown

News that 185,000 New Zealanders expect to lose their jobs or businesses by mid next year drives home the scale of the economic challenge our country is facing, National Party Leader Judith Collins says.

The grim prediction comes from a Stats NZ survey that found 7 per cent of employed people, or 1 in 14 workers, felt there was a high or almost certain chance they would lose their jobs or businesses within the next year. Another 18 per cent said there was a medium chance.

Transport, retail, trade, accommodation and food were among the most at-risk industries.

“This could not be more serious. The number of New Zealanders who are resigned to unemployment is now bigger than the population of Hamilton – our fourth largest city,” Ms Collins says.

More than 5000 people registered for unemployment support in the fortnight to August 28, bringing the total number of people receiving some kind of unemployment benefit to 222,000 – nearly 80,000 more people unemployed than in March.

“Job security is a major issue. With the third tranche of the wage subsidy ending this week, the worst is yet to come for New Zealanders whose jobs have been hit hard by lockdowns.

“New Zealand needs a National Government that has a plan and is absolutely focused on growing the economy and creating jobs. National’s pro-employment policies will give businesses confidence to invest and grow to create more jobs.

“Our JobStart policy will provide cash support for businesses that take on new staff, our BusinessStart policy will provide even further cash support for people who want to start a new business, while our plans to spend an extra $31 billion on transport infrastructure and $4.8 billion on world-class education infrastructure will create thousands of jobs.

“Labour’s big idea, meanwhile, is creating a new public holiday in two years’ time. That will be cold comfort to the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who might not have a job by then.

“Only National has the plan and team to create more jobs and a better economy to get New Zealand out of this crisis.”

You can more about National's economic policies here.