A drop in unemployment to a low of just 2.2% for Nelson in September leaves an important benchmark on which the new government should be judged says Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith.
“This stunningly low unemployment rate of 2.2% for Nelson shows how our previous Government’s economic policies were working. My message to the new Government is not to mess with success and to be cautious of radical changes that puts growth in jobs and incomes at risk.
“Nelson’s unemployment rate of 2.2% is the lowest in New Zealand and lower than any other developed country. It compares to an average rate in New Zealand, of 4.6%, Australia’s 5.5%, France of 9.6%, Spain at 18% and even lower than Iceland which is the current best in the world at 2.6%. It is also one of the lowest levels ever recorded in Nelson compared to 2.8% a year ago, 6% at the peak of the Global Financial Crisis and 10% when I first entered politics in the late 1980s.
“This data also shows National’s successes in growing incomes with the average wage up to $60,000 an increase of 28% over our nine years in Government. This 28% growth in wages compares to 14% inflation over the same period and confirms that wages grew at twice the rate of inflation under National.
“This positive jobs data also makes a nonsense of the new Government’s claims that National rejected the regions. Nelson’s unemployment rate of 2.2% is less than half of the national rate of 4.6%, significantly less than Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Unemployment in the last year was down in every region across New Zealand.
“A job is the best way that people and families can get ahead. The new Government needs to maintain the economic growth that National and New Zealanders have worked so hard for. Two point two percent unemployment is a number Nelsonians need to remember as the effect of the new Government’s policies impact on the region.”