Pacific unemployment far too high

New statistics out today reveal, once again, that the National-led Government is still failing to tackle Pacific unemployment says Su’a William Sio, Labour’s spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs.

“While there has been a minuscule reduction in the number of unemployed Pacific people, the rate is still disproportionately high at 15.2 percent.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that at a time of hardship for many people in our communities, where they are desperate for jobs and better incomes, Pacific peoples’ unemployment rate are still at unhealthy levels, and are worse now since National came into government in 2008.

“Like anyone, these people want to work, but for many the prospects are bleak. Wages remain low and full-time jobs are at a premium.

“In just the last few days Solid Energy has announced plans to cut 105 jobs, adding to the 440 jobs they’ve already cut, Tait Communications is looking to lay off  70 workers, and Fonterra has hinted it could get rid of up to 300 jobs.

“The Government promised to create 170,000 jobs and a brighter future for all New Zealanders. The near stagnant rate of unemployment for Pacific people is symptomatic of its hand’s off attitude.

“While National falls over backwards to accommodate its corporate mates it is ignoring the real issues. It should be looking at real, long-term solutions that provide quality jobs and higher incomes for every New Zealander,” said Su’a William Sio.

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