Youth unemployment a ‘crisis’ – Labour

Sunday 11 Nov 2012 8:11 a.m.

Youth unemployment is currently at 25 percent  (file)

Youth unemployment is currently at 25 percent (file)

The Labour Party is labelling New Zealand's youth unemployment situation a "crisis" and warns the social and financial cost will be felt for years to come.

Latest numbers from Statistics New Zealand show the overall unemployment rate's risen to 7.3 percent - a 13 year high - but youth unemployment is much higher, at 25 percent.

Labour's Youth Affairs spokesperson, Megan Woods, says the flow-on effects are felt in youth health and welfare pay-outs.

“There is the financial burden on our welfare system when we have that many young people who are dependent on the state,” she says.

“It’s all well and good for Paula Bennett and National to talk about the big stick to get young people off welfare, well actually most young people I’ve talked to actually want to work.”

Unemployment rates for young Maori and Pacific Islanders are even worse - Ms Woods says the rate in those communities is above 30 percent.

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