One of the National-led Government’s goals this term will be to continue building a more productive and competitive economy that offers more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders. This week, the latest Household Labour Force Survey, confirmed we are on the right track when it comes to job creation. The survey showed that steady job growth in the September quarter has lowered New Zealand’s unemployment rate to 5.4 per cent. This is the lowest employment rate since March 2009.
These latest results show an increase of 18,000 people employed in the September quarter and 72,000 over the last year, as the economy continues to strengthen following the Global Financial Crisis. It is encouraging that we are seeing increasing confidence from companies around New Zealand to build their businesses and hire more staff. The construction sector has shown a particularly strong recovery, with 33,500 more jobs across the country in the last year. This is a great result, and it shows that government policies are delivering for kiwis by providing the opportunities for people to move into work. I can assure you that the National-led Government will continue to focus on policies that encourage business confidence, investment, and job growth.
This week I will be in China and Myanmar to attend the APEC Leaders’ meeting and the East Asia Summit. I will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Trade Minister Tim Groser. I look forward to getting the chance at these forums to continue advancing our relationship with other countries in the region.
These summits will play host to our largest trading partners. Attending both of these International summits is important for a country like New Zealand, as it gives us a great opportunity to promote this country as a good place to do business with, trade with, and invest in.