Dairy price drop costs jobs - English

  • 13/11/2015

New Zealand's unemployment rate was the lowest in the OECD 10 years ago and now it's ranked 15th, Labour says.

Finance spokesman Grant Robertson says unemployment in the United States was 7.8 percent in 2008 and now it's 5 percent.

In Britain, it was 6.1 percent and now it's 5.3 percent.

He says the government blames overseas economic factors and "turbulent times" for New Zealand's current unemployment rate, but those factors don't seem to affect other countries.

The latest statistics, released earlier this month, showed unemployment had increased from 5.9 percent to six percent.

In Parliament, Mr Robertson questioned Finance Minister Bill English.

"How come unemployment is six percent and heading towards seven percent?", he asked.

Mr English said the answer was obvious.

"The fact is that the drop in dairy prices has taken billions of dollars of income out of the economy," he said.

"If it is not coming in, it cannot be there to pay wages for more and more jobs.

"We have had strong job creation, it has flattened out a bit at the moment."

Mr English said the Government was confident it would pick up again.