The latest Household Labour Force Survey, independently produced by Statistics New Zealand, shows the unemployment rate is now at 4.8 per cent, the lowest level since December 2008.
It’s easy to underestimate just how significant this is. When National took office in 2008, at the height of the crisis, unemployment was spiking and projected to keep growing. Businesses were closing, people were losing their houses, and government debt was blowing out and on track to reach unsustainable levels.
All of this was despite fair economic conditions during the 2000s giving the previous Labour Government ample opportunity to prepare for a rainy day.
National made stabilising the economy a priority, which included some tough decisions. We developed a clear and consistent economic plan to get the country back on its feet, which included taking on debt to provide support to those at the hardest edge of the crisis.
We lowered taxes to help stimulate business growth. We began a huge programme of infrastructure development to catch up with years of neglect by Labour.
And we made significant reforms to our welfare system to help beneficiaries get back into work more quickly, and stay in work, so this latest economic shock didn’t cause another generation to fall into long-term, welfare dependency.
National has stuck with this plan, backing our businesses to grow so they can hire more people and lift incomes. The number of people unemployed has dropped by 3,000 this quarter alone, and we’ve helped you create over 181,000 new jobs in past two years.
Particularly pleasing is the reduction in the number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs). The rate fell to 11.1 per cent, down from 12.7 per cent in the previous quarter. The number of women who are NEET is at the lowest level on record.
All of these things are the positive results you get from National’s strong, consistent economic plan. And it’s just the beginning – there’s a lot more we’re going to do.
We are hugely positive about New Zealand’s potential, and what we can achieve together. But success isn’t guaranteed.
A vote for any other party is a vote for chaotic Labour/Greens/NZ First coalition, with a relentlessly negative view of New Zealand. They will take New Zealand backwards.
Only a Party Vote for National will keep a strong, National-led Government that is focused on a consistent plan to keep growing the economy so we can afford to deliver more for you and for family.