Work crisis sees double on dole

By Trevor Quinn


The number of people on the dole in Wairarapa has more than doubled in the past four years.

Latest quarterly figures from the Ministry of Social Development show the number of people on the unemployment benefit in Wairarapa has risen from 404 in September 2008 to 866 in September 2012.

The only area not to record a significant increase was Tararua, where the numbers of job seekers fell from 249 four years ago to 240.

In Masterton, the number on the dole rose by more than 13 per cent in the past 12 months alone. Numbers in Carterton, South Wairarapa and Tararua were static in the past year.

Masterton Mayor Garry Daniell said the jobs crisis was a problem which needed to be highlighted and addressed. He said economic stagnation was a worldwide phenomenon, which needed to be taken into consideration.

"America and Europe are areas where the unemployment is catastrophic. In Spain 50 per cent of under-25s are unemployed."

Mr Daniell said efforts were being made to create an environment with more job opportunities.

"We are working to speed up infrastructure on the district council so that diggers won't be left in sheds which obviously creates employment."

He said the district council was also working with education institutions and engaging with jobseekers and local agencies to find solutions.

"Christchurch will be needing people with trade skills in the future so those upskilling in the trades sector will have some sort of future.

"The people of Masterton cannot ignore the fact that although there is some work, times are tough. I'm not sure what the Government can really do."


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