Welcome boost in employment


The economy grew 3% last year and at last there’s a sign that the growth is leading to more jobs.

The drop in the unemployment rate from 6.9 per cent to 6.2 per cent in the March quarter is encouraging news, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.

The Household Labour Force Survey released today showed that 38,000 more people were employed in the quarter.

“The result follows news the economy grew 3 per cent in the year to December and is another sign the economy is continuing to head in the right direction,” Mr Joyce says.
“While the fall in unemployment is a good result it may be a little too good as this survey is known to move around and we need to be cautious.” . . .

Caution is sensible. With surveys, like polls, it’s the trend which is more important than an individual result.

The result puts New Zealand in 11th place in the OECD, which has an average unemployment rate of 8 per cent. Our participation rate grew from 67.2 to 67.8 per cent and remains higher than Australia’s at 65.3 per cent.

Hours worked increased 3.2 per cent for the quarter – the highest since 1994.

“The Government’s economic management and Business Growth Agenda were praised last month by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde who described the New Zealand economy as being ‘very stable’ and ‘very promising’ and a lot better than other parts of the world,” Mr Joyce says.

“The National-led Government is encouraging more investment right across the New Zealand economy as we know that nothing creates jobs and grows incomes for New Zealand families better than business growth.”

The left still think it’s governments which create jobs.

The government’s role is to get the environment right so that businesses have the confidence to employ people.

Very promising


Quote of the day:

“All I can tell you is the IMF is very supportive of what is being done by the Government in that respect.

“If you look at the numbers, if you look whether it is growth, whether it is employment, whether it is inflation, whether it is debt, overall it is very stable and it is also very promising.

“If you compare the potential growth rate of New Zealand and thee forecasts we have which I will not disclose because they will be disclosed in a couple of weeks time, it’s certainly a lot better than what we see in other parts of the world.

“An economy grew on the basis of its components – resources, manpower, capital, financial markets and policies and policies and the policies we believe are sound and solid.” IMF managing director Christine Lagarde.


The head of the International Monetary Fund, an organisation of 188 countries, has praised the direction of New Zealand's economy.

NZ only one to get it right


One of US President Barack Obama’s top financial advisors has given New Zealand a ringing endorsement for the way the National Government is handling the deepening world debt crisis,  State Owned Enterprises and Health Minister Tony Ryall said.

‘This week, in a major international BBC debate on rescuing the world economy, Peter Orszag, Obama’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget until 2010, opposed the austerity only position taken by the IMF’s Chairman Christine Lagarde, and Wolfgang Schauble, German Minister of Finance,’ Mr Ryall said.

‘Mrs Lagarde and Mr Schauble said cutting spending was difficult but necessary.  But Mr Orszag said it was better to take a mixed approach – with stimulus for the economy combined with deficit reduction that is put in place now but which takes effect over time.

‘President Obama’s former senior aide singled out New Zealand alone as the model for its balanced approach to the deepening international debt crisis,’ Mr Ryall said.

‘Mr Orszag said: … “for most countries it’s better to combine deficit reduction that you put in place now but that takes effect over time, with if anything, additional support, and that means stimulus, for the economy, effective immediately. And what’s interesting about the fiscal monitor the IMF published also as part of these meetings, is if you look across all the developed countries, there is only one country… which has actually done that, which is New Zealand- who have coupled additional stimulus with medium-term fiscal consolidation. That’s the right policy combination.”(BBC ‘World Debate – Rescuing the Global Economy – What Next?’)

‘This statement by one of President Obama’s top advisors acknowledged the balanced approach taken by the Key led Government over the last four years. The National government has borrowed to take the sharp edges off recession, at the same time maintaining strong fiscal discipline,’ said Mr Ryall.

‘Around $2 billion of borrowings over the last four years have been to protect and grow public health services.  This has contributed to the improved health services New Zealanders are seeing every day, including free doctors’ visits for children under 6, and 35,000 more patients getting elective surgery a year than four years ago.  

‘It is also important the Government completes its government share offer programme, so that we can control our debt, and build the hospitals and schools and broadband we need , but would otherwise have to borrow to complete.

In spite of what the doom merchants are saying, New Zealand is weathering tough global economic times well.

The debate is here.

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