The Leader of New Zealand’s UnitedFuture party says that new employment data confirms that the country does not need to significantly reduce immigration levels like some critics suggest.
The latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) shows that 35,000 more jobs were created over the past three months while there were 3,000 fewer unemployed. Over the past year an additional 144,000 people are in employment.
The New Zealand unemployment rate now stands at 4.9 per cent – the lowest rate since December 2008.
The falling unemployment rate comes at a time of record high immigration in New Zealand.
“Too often we have heard calls for big changes to our immigration system on the basis that immigration is putting pressure on our job market,” said Peter Dunne, leader of the UnitedFuture party. “This data shows that this is a simple falsehood being peddled for political gain at the expense of new and established migrants to our country.”
He continued: “Immigration will naturally ebb and flow, but we cannot encourage the ‘us and them’ narratives that emerge every time there is a bump in immigration numbers. Let’s start with what we know, the vast majority of people who immigrate to New Zealand do so in order to build a better life for themselves, their children and their families.
“They do that by working here, bringing needed skills, contributing culture and diversity, releasing innovation and adding new dimensions to our society. These qualities make our society stronger, they add value to New Zealand and inject a richness to our communities which benefits everyone in this country,” Dunne added.
The latest employment data also reveals that average weekly wages in New Zealand are up by 1.9 per cent in the past year, compared with inflation of 0.2 per cent.
The data also shows that 90 per cent of people in paid employment are in permanent jobs. This confirms that the vast majority of New Zealanders are in stable long-term employment.
Article published 7th November 2016