Source: First Union – Business numbers rise while unemployment remains high

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal almost 500,000 businesses are operating in New Zealand, an all-time high. However General Secretary of the FIRST Union Robert Reid says record business growth is not translating to record employment growth.

“Although business numbers are expanding unemployment remains stubbornly high. We may have a record number of businesses operating in New Zealand but we have not reached a record low in unemployment. With the development of low hour and zero hour contracts the picture is not as positive as the business figures suggest” says Mr Reid.

In the final quarter of 2014 the unemployment rate increased 5.7 per cent, up from 5.4 per cent in the previous quarter. Recent figures from the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey indicate fewer businesses intend to increase their staffing levels compared to the last quarter.

“Growth in the economy is top-heavy. While major companies like ANZ post record profits the situation for workers remains bleak. Wage increases are sluggish and the trend towards casualisation is gaining pace. National is presiding over a one-sided recovery in the economy” says Mr Reid.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.