780 new Dunedin jobs 220 short of target

Dunedin's economy is on the right track, despite the city missing its latest target for job-creation, deputy mayor Chris Staynes says.

The comment came as he presented an update on the city's economic development strategy to about 50 people in the Glenroy Auditorium last night.

The strategy sought to create 10,000 jobs and add $10,000 to average incomes by 2023.

Berl figures released last night showed the number of jobs in the city grew 1.5% in the year to March, with an extra 780 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions created.

Cr Staynes said that was still 220 FTEs below the 1000 new jobs a year needed to meet the strategy's goals.

It was also lower than the 1221 FTE jobs created the previous year, to March 2014, which amounted to 2.4% growth.

Despite that, Cr Staynes said the members of the Grow Dunedin Partnership remained confident of success.

''Economic development is a long game and momentum grows each year,'' he told the audience.

The most recent results showed GDP was up 2.3%, which was slightly faster than the previous year and well above the 0.6% average for the last decade, Cr Staynes said.

Last night he also unveiled the Positive Press Initiative, designed to encourage Dunedin businesses to engage with media, to share their success stories, supported by Enterprise Dunedin.

The initiative could help promote the city, generate business opportunities, build staff morale and attract new employees and investment, he said.

''We have got so many businesses in town that are doing fabulous stuff, but very rarely get out there and tell it.

What we are trying to do is get them to tell their stories,'' he told the Otago Daily Times.

The initiative was supported by the existing members of the Grow Dunedin Partnership - Ngai Tahu, the Otago Southland Employers Association, the Dunedin City Council, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and the Otago Chamber of Commerce.

The existing members had also each agreed to relinquish one of their two seats at the partnership table, creating space for an injection of business representatives and the skills they would bring, Cr Staynes said.

Applications to join the partnership would be advertised shortly, he said.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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