Unemployment rate hitting the provinces harder
Latest figures from Statistics New Zealand reveal Jason is not the only person struggling to find work in North Island provinces, with many seeing unemployment rise to the highest levels in years.
Unemployment in the Waikato reached the highest level since 1999, with an added 4400 people taking the province from sixth to third highest unemployment rate in the country in the past quarter year, with 8.6%.
“I’ve applied online on sites like Trade Me and Seek, but a lot of them say you need qualifications or experience,” says the IT student.
“For a student that’s pretty hard because you’re still studying for qualifications and I don’t have a lot of experience outside of the fast food industry.”
Jason says he is surviving on the accommodation benefit from Studylink.
“My parents help out as much as they can, but I don’t like to rely on them because I’m 23 and I shouldn’t have to.”
“There are definitely things the government could do to help. They’re complaining about the unemployment in this country but they’re doing nothing to make it easier for people to get jobs.
“I don’t know a lot about politics but surely they can come with something to help people get into decent employment.”
In seasonally adjusted figures released in the Household Labour Force Survey, the national unemployment rate rose to 6.7 per cent in the March 2012 quarter.
The rate is up from a revised figure of 6.4 per cent last quarter.
However, non-seasonally adjusted figures suggest unemployment is hitting some regions hard, particularly in rural North Island provinces.
An added 3200 registered unemployed in Manawatu–Wanganui pushed the region to the highest unemployment rate in the country. The new figure of 8.9% is the highest for the province since 1994.
Northlanders will be pleased to see their region not the highest unemployed province for the first time since the third quarter of 2010.
Northland is one of only five regions to see the number of employed people rise. However, registered unemployment also rose to 8.7%.
Bay of Plenty and Gisborne – Hawke’s Bay rounded out the top five, with both rising to 8.5%.
Meanwhile, Wellington and Southland bucked a nationwide trend to be the only two regions in New Zealand to see unemployment figures fall.
Unemployment fell from 7.1% to 6.2% in Wellington, and Southland surpassed Taranaki to have the lowest unemployment rate in the country, down from 5.1% to 4.2%.