Hawke's Bay jobless figures don't tell whole picture

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Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce believes the latest unemployment figures from the Household Labour Force Survey do not reflect the actual figures of those receiving the unemployment benefit in Hawke's Bay.

The survey of 15,000 homes also included Gisborne in the East Coast figures, giving an inaccurate reflection of the Hawke's Bay situation, as Gisborne had a higher number of people receiving an unemployment benefit, the chamber said.

Labour force participation in Hawke's Bay was on the rise to 68.6 per cent which represented a positive shift, chamber board president Katja Williams said. "We're seeing the labour force participation rate go up to slightly more than the national average, this is more people in jobs and that is a key focus for Business Hawke's Bay."

The number of people receiving the unemployment benefit was down in all areas of Hawke's Bay with the exception of Napier.

In Flaxmere those receiving the benefit dropped from 301 in September 2011, to 285 in September 2012. In Waipukurau the figures were also tracking down with 238 people receiving a benefit, down from 259.

"While this is a decrease in those people receiving a benefit it is still too many and we are very focused on creating more jobs across a wide range of sectors."

Ms Williams said Business Hawke's Bay was working with the private sector, EIT, social development agencies and councils to increase jobs and training opportunities.

"The Youth Futures programme is seeing some real results and we are well on the way to our goal to see 100 per cent of youth either in employment, education or training."

Other initiatives included the work by the horticultural sector to increase jobs. The horticultural cadet scheme aimed for more seasonal jobs transferred to long-term career opportunities in the industry.

"With the growth of sales opportunities in China, the apple industry is offering a lot more full time work and this is excellent to see," Ms Williams said.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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