The Government is overseeing a slowing economy that isn’t creating enough jobs to keep up with population growth, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Despite the Government’s talk of wellbeing and fairness, New Zealanders are being forced to cope with a sharp decline in jobs growth. In the real world, wellbeing is getting worse.

“In the past 18 months, HLFS data shows New Zealand’s working-age population has grown by 114,000 people compared to jobs growth of just 70,000. To put that another way, under this Government the economy has created 44,000 fewer jobs than people.

“That’s a poor outcome. Under National between 2015 and 2017, the economy created 57,000 more jobs than people at a rate of 10,000 new jobs a month. Under the Labour-led Government - more people than jobs. Under National - more jobs than people.

“A strong economy means more jobs and more opportunities for people to get ahead, provide for themselves and their families and rely less on government assistance.

“But the Government is undermining our economic growth, driving up costs and giving businesses less reason to take on more workers. Its decisions are counterproductive for New Zealand.

“Instead, 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.

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

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