Prime Minister John Key has defended the Government's
economic plan, saying new data showing a 13-year high in
unemployment in New Zealand, is at odds with other data.
Mr Key said the data from the Statistics New Zealand
household labour force survey out today was at odds with the
quarterly employment survey.
According to the household labour force survey the
unemployment rate rose to half a percentage point to 7.3 per
cent in the September quarter, the highest level since June
Economists surveyed by Reuters were picking a 0.1 percentage
point fall to 6.7 per cent.
Full-time employment shrunk 0.8 per cent to 1.7 million,
while part-timers rose 1.4 per cent to 519,000.
"We're pretty surprised by the data. It's at odds with quite
a lot of other data that we see," Mr Key said.
Today's figures come after the quarterly employment survey
showed total filled jobs rose 0.3 per cent to a seasonally
adjusted 1.715 million, bolstered by a pick-up in part-time
workers and a decline in full-time equivalents to 1.35
Mr Key also said data showing an unemployment rise in
Auckland was at odds with "anecdotal evidence".
He said the Government were committed to their economic plan
and there would be no change of tack after the survey was
"We're on the right track, in our view - we are reforming the
economy as, is absolutely necessary.
"Things will bounce around, you will have international
conditions to contend with - but from New Zealand's point of
view we've grown 1.6 per cent in the first quarter, we've
grown 57,000 jobs in the last 12-18 months.
"It is at odds with what most of the economists thought would
happen; it's slightly unusual when we see what's happening in
terms of those on the unemployment benefit - but that's the
way statistical things happen.
"These are challenging international conditions -we see that
with Germany likely to be growing by only about 0.8 per cent
and the rest of the world slowing down.
Mr Key said he would wait for future data to assess if there
was really a problem.
- By Kate Shuttleworth of APNZ and Paul McBeth of