No.254 9 September 2006 254 Issues Published in New Zealand from 1994 to 2006

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issue No.1 (Sept 1994)

Index to Back Issues
Index to Features

Key events over the last 12 years.

For the complete list of Jobs Letter headlines, click here.

The Jobs Letter No.1
26 September 1994

Labour’s Jobs Policies
Job Action Programme
Foodbanks Should Close
Employment Taskforce

The Jobs Letter No.2
10 October 1994

Economic Growth 6.1%!
Anglicans for a 4 Day Week
Lack of Analysis in Setting Benefit Levels

The Jobs Letter No.3
26 October 1994

Task Force Youth Report
Local Economic Development
K T Footwear Hires Long-Term Unemployed

The Jobs Letter No.4
7 November 1994

Apprenticeship Numbers Halved
International Bankers Told to Contain Inflation and Promote Jobs

The Jobs Letter No.5
21 November 1994

Unemployment 7.8%
Community Economic Sector
John Pilger on Poverty in UK

The Jobs Letter No.6
5 December 1994

Taskforce on Employment
Shortage of Engineers and Builders
Training or Education?
US Congress Limits Welfare

The Jobs Letter No.7
20 December 1994

Job Losses and Tariff Cuts
Voices on Employment Taskforce
Paid Parental Leave

The Jobs Letter No.8
9 January 1995

NZ Nurses Working in Singapore
Social Audit
The Cost of Unemployment

The Jobs Letter No.9
17 January 1995

Businesses Training Young Workers
181,091 on the Dole
Ethnic Jobs Discrimination

The Jobs Letter No.10
7 February 1995

Youth Action Programme
Te Araroa: the Long Path
New Jobs are Lower-Paid

The Jobs Letter No.11
21 February 1995

The Future of Work,
Unemployed Migrating to SB & IB

The Jobs Letter No.12
6 March 1995

ILO: Unemployment Crisis
27% of Placements are Full-Time

The Jobs Letter No.13
20 March 1995

Views on Development
Buy Local Campaign
Self-Employed Women

The Jobs Letter No.14
3 April 1995

Job Intro for School Leavers
Unemployment & Overwork
“Re-Inventing Government”

The Jobs Letter No.15
18 April 1995

Employment Forum
Volunteering Increases Employability

The Jobs Letter No.16
3 May 1995

Pacific Unemployment in NZ
Rising Dollar is Killing Jobs
Unemployment & Health

The Jobs Letter No.17
16 May 1995

Foreigners Take Fishing Jobs
Welfare Dependency

The Jobs Letter No.18
18 May 1995

Unemployment Lowest Since 1986
Is Technology Destroying Jobs?

The Jobs Letter No.19
17 June 1995

SB & IB Numbers Up
More Teachers Needed
French Unemployment 12%

The Jobs Letter No.20
30 June 1995

Multi-Party Jobs Memorandum:
“Lost Opportunity for Jobs”

The Jobs Letter No.21
17 July 1995

The Rich/Poor Gap
60% of Workers “Anxious”

The Jobs Letter No.22
3 August 1995

Chch Adult Work Scheme
Skills Shortage on the Farm
State Agency for Full-Employment?

The Jobs Letter No.23
23 August 1995

Unemployment 6.3%
Maori Unemployment 16.1%
“Natural” Unemployment is 6%

The Jobs Letter No.24
9 September 1995

Unemployment a Mental Health Issue
CEG’s Target Work
Easton on Economic Reform

The Jobs Letter No.25
26 September 1995

Suffering Skill Shortages
Joblessness and Cannabis

The Jobs Letter No.26
16 October 1995

Economy Slowing
Tax Cuts for Mid- High-Incomes
Ruth Richardson’s Wish List

The Jobs Letter No.27
26 October 1995

The Long Awaited Jobs Package

The Jobs Letter No.28
9 November 1995

Feedback on Jobs Package
Labour’s Employment Proposals

The Jobs Letter No.29
27 November 1995

Unemployment Top Voter Concern
Kelsey Questions Economic “Success”
Building Apprentices Shortfall

The Jobs Letter No.30
15 December 1995

“30/30/40” Labour Trend
Local Employment Co-Ordination
Staff Paid Parental Leave at Woolworths

The Jobs Letter No.31
8 January 1996

Business on Skill Shortages
Teachers from Britain
French Pledges Jobs Action

The Jobs Letter No.32
29 January 1996

Employment Agenda ‘96
Beneficiary Numbers Rise
The Working Poor

The Jobs Letter No.33
10 February 1996

Recycling and Jobs
Immigration/Employment Debate
Positive Discrimination
Job Search on the Net

The Jobs Letter No.34
28 February 1996

Unemployment 6.1%
Tax Cuts Debate
Reserve Bank Can’t Solve Unemployment
Teacher Shortfall

The Jobs Letter No.35
18 March 1996

Real Wage Level Static
Student Loan Debt Growing
Fruit Picker Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.36
1 April 1996

Tariff Removal and Car Plants
Lower Wage Rises
Roundtable Wants Wefare Reform

The Jobs Letter No.37
19 April 1996,

Poverty in NZ
“Work-for-the Dole”
Gangs and Wor

The Jobs Letter No.38
8 May 1996

Summary of the Tax Cuts
Social Policy Bill

The Jobs Letter No.39
20 May 1996

Unemployment 6.2%
Shortage of Farm Workers
Immigrant Doctors on the Dole
Boom in Temping

The Jobs Letter No.40
10 June 1996

Budget Details
Boost for EEO
Local Employment Groups
Nurses Off to the UK

The Jobs Letter No.41
3 July 1996

Training and Jobs
Counting the Unemployed
Re-Defining Unemployment

The Jobs Letter No.42
19 July 1996

Farm Labour Crisis
The Stop Poverty Campaign

Jobs Letter No43
29 July 1996

Election 1996
Parties Employment Policies

The Jobs Letter No.44
14 August 1996

Big Rise in Lost Jobs
Shortage of Social Workers
Maori Council and Gang Training

The Jobs Letter No.45
27 August 1996

Unemployment 6.1%
Community Wage, Work-for-the-Dole and Workfare
Job Growth Not Reducing Jobless Rate

The Jobs Letter No.46
13 September 1996

Keynes’ Policies Turn 60
Training and Jobs
Oz Privatises Employment Service

The Jobs Letter No.47
27 September 1996

Intl Year to Eradicate Poverty
Small Business Boom
Roger Douglas: “Dysfunctional Families” a Time Bomb

The Jobs Letter No.48
16 October 1996

Long-Term Unemployment
ILO on Child Labour

The Jobs Letter No.49
4 November 1996

Redefining Jobs Creation
Teacher Numbers Crisis
Prisons: a Growth Industry

The Jobs Letter No.50
22 November 1996

Unemployment 6.3%
Social Employment Projects
Covey on Interdependency

The Jobs Letter No.51
6 December 1996

1 Billion People Unemployed
Farmers Leaving the Land
NAIRU: “Non-Accelerating Rate of Unemployment”

The Jobs Letter No.52
20 December 1996

Minister McCardle’s Agenda
Bank’s Inflationary Range Expands
Plans for Work-for-the-Dole

The Jobs Letter No.53
17 January 1997

Inaugural WTO Meeting
Jobs and the Environment
Prediction of Job Growth Occupations

The Jobs Letter No.54
31 January 1997

The NZ$ and Jobs
Dept Calls for Change to Benefits
The Jobs Letter Goes Electronic

The Jobs Letter No.55
17 February 1997

Unemployment 5.9%
1,000 Air NZ Jobs Go
Oz Goes Work-for-the-Dole

The Jobs Letter No.56
6 March 1997

Future of the “Career”
ILO on Work-for-the-Dole
Changing Face of Careers

The Jobs Letter No.57
27 March 1997

New Work Tests
Wisconsin Welfare Model
Europeans Rally Against Lay-offs

The Jobs Letter No.58
18 April 1997

Workfare: the Intl Experience
Skill Shortages
Maharey Disputes Dole Figures

The Jobs Letter No.59
5 May 1997

Where to for CEG?
Another Teacher Shortage Crisis Looms

The Jobs Letter No.60
19 May 1997

Unemployment 6.4%
Greens Call for Eco-Tax
Women & Unemployment

The Jobs Letter No.61
30 May 1997

“Natural Capitalism”
Work-for-Dole Battle Lines
What Labour Would Do ...

The Jobs Letter No.62
25 June 1997

No Budget for Workfare
Employer Strategy for Full-Employment
Job Hunting on the Web

Jobs Letter 63
17 July 1997

McCardle Talks-up Jobs Strategy
“Code of Social Responsibility”

The Jobs Letter No.64
7 August 1997

Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI)
Employers Can’t Find Staff,

The Jobs Letter No.65
22 August 1997

Unemployment 6.7%
Police & Military Staff Shortages
“No Fraud” in Winebox Investigation

The Jobs Letter No.66
15 September 1997

Maori “Revolving Door” of Temp Jobs and Schemes
1-in-3 on a Benefit
“Businesses for Social Responsibility”

The Jobs Letter No.67
1 October 1997

Bounty to Put Maori into Jobs
Treasury Wants Benefit Cuts
Code of Social Responsibility

The Jobs Letter No.68
3 November 1997

France Introduces the 35-hr week
Value of Unpaid Work

The Jobs Letter No.69
28 November 1997

Unemployment 6.8%
Churches Promote Workfare Standards
Universal Basic Income

The Jobs Letter No.70
22 December 1997

Christmas Eve Job Losses
IB and SB to be Work Tested

The Jobs Letter No.71
9 January 1998

No Student Allowance for Under-18s
Teacher Morale and Numbers Plummet
New Economy: “Betrayal of Work”

The Jobs Letter No.72
30 January 1998

Asian Economic Crisis
Sowry on Social Policy

The Jobs Letter No.73
10 February 1998

Unemployment 6.7%
High Staff Turnover Rates for Government Depts

The Jobs Letter No.74
6 March 1998

The “Code of Social Responsibility” Debate

The Jobs Letter No.75
24 March 1998

Merging of Income Support and Employment
Employment Challenges of Elders
Health Effects & Unemployment

The Jobs Letter No.76
14 April 1998

What the Current Account Deficit Means
McCardle is Minister of Employment
Institutional Barriers to Employment

The Jobs Letter No.77
27 April 1998

Special Issue on the Community Wage

The Jobs Letter No.78
11 May 1998

Unemployment 7.1%
Millions Jobless in Asia

The Jobs Letter No.79
27 May 1998

Anglicans on Welfare Protests
Group Apprenticeships
TV Benefit Fraud Ads

The Jobs Letter No.80
18 June 1998

NZ’s Unfolding Economic Crisis
Local Economies Rely on Cannabis Trade

The Jobs Letter No.81
30 June 1998

“Super Agency” WINZ
Hikoi of Hope Planned

The Jobs Letter No.82
17 July 1998

WINS CEO Christine Rankin
Young People Higher Unemployment
Foreign Fishing Crews

The Jobs Letter No.83
30 July 1998

Income and Inequality
Tamihere Supports Work-for-the-Dole

The Jobs Letter No.84
13 August 1998

Unemployment 7.7%
Danish Employment/Welfare Model

The Jobs Letter No.85
27 August 1998

5 Planks of Hikoi of Hope:
Real Jobs
Trusted Health System
Accessible Education
Affordable Housing
Addressing Poverty

The Jobs Letter No.86
1 September 1998

Jobs from the Land
Reeves on the Hikoi Hope

The Jobs Letter No.87
23 September 1998

Global Economy in Free-Fall
NZ Job Losses

The Jobs Letter No.88
14 October 1998

ILO on Training Trends
Unite! Unemployed Union
Maori Employment and Training Commission

The Jobs Letter No.89
28 October 1998

Budgets for More Unemployment Benefits
WINZ National Roadshow
Common Misconceptions About Poverty

The Jobs Letter No.90
20 November 1998

Unemployment 7.4%
Foodbank Protests
Amartya Sen Nobel Prize

The Jobs Letter No.91
1 December 1998

A Shorter Working Week?
Inmate Jobs Programme

The Jobs Letter No.92
16 December 1998

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Corporate Welfare
Who Pays for Workfare?

The Jobs Letter No.93
25 January 1999

Launch of the Euro
Skill Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.94
5 February 1999

Unemployment 7.5%
PM Shipley on Jobs
New Compliance Measures for Beneficiaries

The Jobs Letter No.95
19 February 1999

Stats NZ: the Growing Income Gap

The Jobs Letter No.96
5 March 1999

Election Year Jobs Agenda
Young Oz Men Poorer than Their Fathers

The Jobs Letter No.97
26 March 1999

CEG Review
WINZ Cops Criticism

The Jobs Letter No.98
27 April 1999

Foodbank Use Rising
Call for Maori Employment Commissioner

The Jobs Letter No.99
14 May 1999

Unemployment 7.2%
Tobin Tax
Bruce Jesson 1945- 1999

The Jobs Letter No.100
28 May 1999

The Birch Budget
One More Worker
Scheme Workers for Schools

The Jobs Letter No.101
18 June 1999

Maori and Work-for-the-Dole
Jubilee: Intl Debt Relief Campaign
New Ministry of Social Policy

The Jobs Letter No.102
30 June 1999

1-in-4 Parents Jobless
Farewell to the Auckland Unemployed Workers Rights Centre

The Jobs Letter No.103
17 July 1999

Shipley: Dropping Tariffs Has Increased Job Numbers
Roundtable Focus on Workplace Flexibility

The Jobs Letter No.104
3 August 1999

The WINZ Whirlpool
Voices from the Whirlpool
Rankin’s “Danger Zone” Video

The Jobs Letter No.105
13 August 1999

Unemployment 7%
Widespread Job Losses
Student Loans and the Brain Drain

The Jobs Letter No.106
23 August 1999

WINZ Censured
The Public Service We Need

The Jobs Letter No.107
13 September 1999

APEC Summit in Auckland
NetAid Global Charity Concert

The Jobs Letter No.108
24 September 1999

Hazel Henderson
Unemployment No.1 Voter Concern
Government’s WINZ Policies

The Jobs Letter No.109
11 October 1999

Hardship Survey
Costs of Youth Unemployment
Bauer’s “Right to Work” Run

The Jobs Letter No.110
21 October 1999

Election 1999
The Parties’ Jobs Policies

The Jobs Letter No.111
5 November 1999

Election Campaign
Petition to Cut Unemployment
Food Poverty Affecting Children

The Jobs Letter No.112
17 November 1999

Unemployment 6.8%
Poverty Research in NZ

The Jobs Letter No.113
6 December 1999

Labour-Alliance Victory
WTO Battle for Seattle
Media Peace Award for Jobs Research Trust Website

The Jobs Letter No.114
21 December 1999

Interview with the New Minister Steve Maharey
Government Puts Heat on Rankin

The Jobs Letter No.115
17 January 2000

Key Ministerial Briefing Papers to the New Government

The Jobs Letter No.116
24 January 2000

Maharey Meets Beneficiary Advocats
No Interest on Student Loans for Low-Earners

The Jobs Letter No.117
8 February 2000

Unemployment 6.3%
Clark Takes-on the Maori/Pakeha Gap
1-in-3 NZ Children in Poverty

The Jobs Letter No.118
18 February 2000

Jobs from Waste
Who, What, When, Where & Why of Waste Reduction

The Jobs Letter No.119
6 March 2000

Mayors Taskforce for Jobs
Callister: Disappearing Work a Myth
Labour Shortage in the Orchards

The Jobs Letter No.120
17 March 2000

The Jobs Machine
New Ministry of Economic Development
Industry NZ

The Jobs Letter No.121
27 March 2000

Modern Apprenticeship Scheme
The Extent of Unpaid Work

The Jobs Letter No.122
26 April 2000

Youth Unemployment
Nursing Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.123
12 May 2000

Unemployment 6.4%
Mayors Taskforce Focus: Youth Unemployment
DotCom Share Market Crash

The Jobs Letter No.124
19 May 2000

Hunn Report on WINZ
Rankin: Hunn Report Prejudicial

The Jobs Letter No.125
2 June 2000

The Hot Jobs ... in 2025
Calls to Address the Skill Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.126
23 June 2000

Funding the Jobs Machine
The Income Gap Widens

The Jobs Letter No.127
14 July 2000

Anderton Wants to Guarantee Opportunities for Every NZer Under 20

The Jobs Letter No.128
31 July 2000

Maharey: Single Benefit by 2002
Southland’s Fees Free Tech
Social Worker Shortage

The Jobs Letter No.129
18 August 2000

Unemployment 6.1%
The Jobs Letter Goes “Free to Air”

The Jobs Letter No.130
8 September 2000

The National Employment Strategy
Income and Job Insecurity

The Jobs Letter No.131
25 September 2000

Digital Divide: the Growing Gap Between the Information Technology Haves and Have-Nots

The Jobs Letter No.132
13 October 2000

Paid Work Isn’t Disappearing
“Atlas” of Socio-Economic Deprivation in Local Communities

The Jobs Letter No.133
30 October 2000

CEG’s Charlie Moore
Maori Earn 9%—14% Less

The Jobs Letter No.134
16 November 2000

Unemployment 5.9%
Modern Apprenticeships
Government’s Employment Strategy

The Jobs Letter No.135
1 December 2000

Zero Waste Conference
The Politics of “Natural Capitalism”
Kaitaia’s CBEC

The Jobs Letter No.136
14 December 2000

The Jobs Challenge Feature
Nationwide Conversation on Jobs

The Jobs Letter No.137
10 January 2001

The New Jobs Will Be in Civil Society
Youth Employment Schemes
Portfolio Work

The Jobs Letter No.138
29 January 2001

Poverty Measurement Project
How Many Hours We Are Working?
How Unemployment Is Measured

The Jobs Letter No.139
12 February 2001

Unemployment 5.6%
Skilled Migrants Numbers Up
Students and the Emergency Unemployment Benefit

The Jobs Letter No.140
22 February 2001

The Top 10 Job Search Websites
Jobs Search Tips

The Jobs Letter No.141
15 March 2001

Jobs Letter’s Dave Owens in East Timor
“One More Worker”
CEG’s Social Entrepreneurs Scheme

The Jobs Letter No.142
12 April 2001

New Ministry of Social Development
Warning of Teacher Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.143
26 April 2001

Community and Voluntary Sector Report
Skills Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.144
18 May 2001

Unemployment 5.4%
Economic Development Guidebook

The Jobs Letter No.145
29 May 2001

The Workforce 2010 Report

The Jobs Letter No.146
8 June 2001

Unpaid Work at 39% of GDP
Business and Skill Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.147
26 June 2001

Special Feature: Social Entrepreneurs

The Jobs Letter No.148
6 July 2001

The Social Report 2001
Treasury Debunks the Brain Drain
Unemployment & Mental Health

The Jobs Letter No.149
16 July 2001

Rankin Not Reappointed to WINZ

The Jobs Letter No.150
2 August 2001

Incomes Lower than 20 Yrs Ago
Tracking School Leavers
Myths Surrounding the DPB

The Jobs Letter No.151
20 August 2001

Unemployment 5.2%
“Closing the Gaps” Finished

The Jobs Letter No.152
24 September 2001

The Jobs Cost of the 9/11 Attacks
Social Justice Week

The Jobs Letter No.153
3 October 2001

Overwork and Unreasonable Hours
“Sharing the Work, Sparing the Planet”

The Jobs Letter No.154
19 October 2001

Maori Jobs Growth Twice that of the Overall Rate
NZers Returning Home

The Jobs Letter No.155
2 November 2001

Tracking School Leavers
Student Debts Pushing Away NZ Doctors
Labour Market Info Online

The Jobs Letter No.156
19 November 2001

Crisis in Global Jobs Market
“Decent Work” in the 21st Century

The Jobs Letter No.157
26 November 2001

Unemployment 5.2%
Artists-on-the-Dole Scheme
Southland Campaign to Recruit Workers
Paid Parental Leave Arrives

The Jobs Letter No.158
12 December 2001

Skill Shortages in Regions and Sectors
Talent Visas

The Jobs Letter No.159
10 January 2002

Dairy Farm Labour Shortage
Sirolli on Enterprise Facilitation

The Jobs Letter No.160
31 January 2002

The Youth Employment Challenge
NZBCBS’s Youth Employment Project

The Jobs Letter No.161
14 February 2002

Unemployment 5.4%
Chronic Shortage of Trade Skills
Government’s Employment Progress Report

The Jobs Letter No.162
15 March 2002

Maharey on Full-Employment
Youth Policy Launch

The Jobs Letter No.163
28 March 2002

Feedback on the Government’s Employment Goals

The Jobs Letter No.164
10 April 2002

Statistics NZ on Work, Education and Income
Fewer People Working after Age 50

The Jobs Letter No.165
24 April 2002

WINZ’s Ray Smith Interview
How Many Jobs from the “Jobs Machine”?
National’s Economic Policy

The Jobs Letter No.166
17 May 2002

Unemployment 5.3%
90-Day Job Probation Plan

The Jobs Letter No.167
14 June 2002

Ending Child Poverty in NZ
Fruit and Veggie Labour Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.168
28 June 2002

Election: the Parties’ Spokespeople on Jobs & Training
The Agenda for Children

The Jobs Letter No.169
18 July 2002

Election 2002 Policies
Barry’s Documentary of NZ’s Economic Revolution

The Jobs Letter No.170
12 August 2002

Unemployment 5.1%
Teachers Leaving Teaching
Foreign Student: $1.1 Billion Industry
International Demand for NZ Nurses

The Jobs Letter No.171
30 August 2002

New Coalition Line-Up
Work/Life Balance
Youth Employment Research

The Jobs Letter No.172
13 September 2002

Ministry Wants to Overhaul Benefits
MSD’s Top 10 Priorities
Skill Shortages Limiting Business

The Jobs Letter No.173
27 September 2002

The High Cost of Not Being in Work or Training
Needed: Coherent and Strategic Young People’s Education

The Jobs Letter No.174
21 October 2002

Making the Agenda for Children Happen
The Income Gap between Maori & Pakeha

The Jobs Letter No.175
21 November 2002

The Employment Catalyst Fund Projects

The Jobs Letter No.176
1 December 2002

Unemployment 5.4%
Lifelong Effects of Poverty

The Jobs Letter No.177
16 December 2002

Special Issue: Skill Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.178
24 January 2003

GATS: the NZ Implications
NZ’s Leaked GATS “Requests”
Youth Employment Alexandria Declaration

The Jobs Letter No.179
5 February 2003

Brash: Abolish the Dole
Jobs that Aren’t Permanent or Full-Time

The Jobs Letter No.180
17 February 2003

Unemployment 4.9%
Long-Term Jobs Trends

The Jobs Letter No.181
3 March 2003

Maharey and Brash Face-to-Face on Employment
Tamihere on Welfare Reform

The Jobs Letter No.182
31 March 2003

New Child Poverty Report
Raising Children Is Nation Building Work
National’s Welfare Reform Plan

The Jobs Letter No.183
15 April 2003

Business Guide to Youth Employment
Waitakere and Porirua Youth Pilots
Building Skill Shortage

The Jobs Letter No.184
1 May 2003

Working-Aged Men Struggling
Fewer than 100,000 on Dole
Capacity Tests for SB & IB
“Job Packaging” in Central Otago

The Jobs Letter No.185
20 May 2003

Unemployment 5%
$56m for Education and Training Young People
Need to Retain Older Workers

The Jobs Letter No.186
4 June 2003

National on Welfare Dependency
Maharey and Bradford on Welfare
Pay Rates for Not-for-Profit

The Jobs Letter No.187
18 June 2003

Katherine Rich Interview
OECD: What Works in Welfare
Social Worker Exodus

The Jobs Letter No.188
7 July 2003

Immigration for Skills Shortage
Nurse Debt and Skills Shortage
Arts Jobs Scheme (PACE)

The Jobs Letter No.189
29 July 2003

Social Report 2003
Job Growth Slowing
Builders Recruiting in South Africa

The Jobs Letter No.190
8 August 2003

“Jobs Jolt”: $104.5m to Tackle Skill Shortages and Get People Off Benefits

The Jobs Letter No.191
22 August 2003

Unemployment 4.7%
Govt Guarantee for Home Mortgages

The Jobs Letter No.192
5 September 2003

Work & Sustainable Development
OECD: Pension Crisis
Mayors Back Council Cadetships

The Jobs Letter No.193
29 September 2003

DoL’s Guide to Future of Work
Attracting Trades Apprentices
Nursing Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.194
9 October 2003

Int’l Employment Policies
Poor Families Lose Child Support
Housing Too Costly for Families

The Jobs Letter No.195
29 October 2003

Work Life Balance
History of the 40hr Wk
Working Hours in NZ

The Jobs Letter No.196
10 November 2003

Finances Forcing Mothers to Work
Women Saying “No” to Having Children

The Jobs Letter No.197
28 November 2003

Unemployment 4.4%
4-Weeks Annual Leave
Leave No Young Person Behind

The Jobs Letter No.198
17 December 2003

Private Surgery for Beneficiaries
Women Apprentices Wanted
Working Past Retirement

The Jobs Letter No.199
23 January 2004

The “No Go” Zones:
Mayors Have Their Say

The Jobs Letter No.200
30 January 2004

Climate Change
Skilled Migrants Wanted
Racial Unemployment Gap Narrows

The Jobs Letter No.201
24 February 2004

Unemployment 4.6%
Trades Recommended Over Degree
Fruit Pickers Needed

The Jobs Letter No.202
11 March 2004

Official "No-Go" List
Widespread Worker Shortage
WINZ Bonuses Race-Based

The Jobs Letter No.203
29 March 2004

How to Reduce Child Poverty
Raising the Retirement Age
Dunedin Pitches for Skilled Workers

The Jobs Letter No.204
7 April 2004

Clampdown on CEG
The Scheme that Brought CEG Down

The Jobs Letter No.205
21 April 2004

Flexible Workforce Argument
Stats NZ on Older Workers
The Outsourcing Bogey "Beat-Up"

The Jobs Letter No.206
16 May 2004

$57M for Youth Transitions
Newman on Welfare Reform
Better Support for SB & IB

The Jobs Letter No.207
31 May 2004

Unemployment 4.3%
“Working For Families”
Maharey on Youth Transition

The Jobs Letter No.208
15 June 2004

Understanding the Workplace
Public Service to Grow
Getting Dropouts Back to School

The Jobs Letter No.209
30 June 2004

New Job Vacancies Monitor
Refugees Struggle to Get Jobs

The Jobs Letter No.210
19 July 2004

CEG Becomes “Work Opportunities”
World-Wide Search for Staff
European 35-Hour Week On Way Out

The Jobs Letter No.211
11 August 2004

Construction Skills Shortage
Youth Unemployment Fallen
National Promises Work-for-the-Dole

The Jobs Letter No.212
25 August 2004

Unemployment 4%
Skills Shortage Solutions
Higher Wages Needed

The Jobs Letter No.213
9 September 2004

Skill Shortages Intensify
Maharey: “People Don’t Want to Stay on a Benefit”

The Jobs Letter No.214
23 September 2004

Human Rights Commission’s “Right To Work” Report

The Jobs Letter No.215
1 October 2004

Migrants Can Fill Skills Shortage
Social Worker Shortage Intensifying
Enticing Teachers from Overseas

The Jobs Letter No.216
14 October 2004

Economy Wide Skills Shortage
Child Poverty and Health
Not Taking Ageing Workforce Seriously

The Jobs Letter No.217
28 October 2004

Global Income Insecurity
Women the Answer to Skills Shortages
Charities Bill a Muzzle

The Jobs Letter No.218
11 November 2004

Boost Skilled Immigration
Social Entrepreneur Scheme Dumped
NZers Work Long Hours

The Jobs Letter No.219
26 November 2004

Unemployment 3.8%
Young Missing Out on Jobs
Let’s Not Flood the Country with Cheap Labour
Working for Families Ignores the Poorest NZers

The Jobs Letter No.220
7 December 2004

Preparing Students for Work
Average Workers Can’t Buy House
UK’s Child Poverty Strategy

The Jobs Letter No.221
17 December 2004

Employers’ Training Role
Lifting Workers’ Skills
Under-Funded Caregivers

The Jobs Letter No.222
21 January 2005

Asia’s Tsunami Toll
Social Policy “Big Picture”
NZ: Low Middle-Income Country

The Jobs Letter No.223
4 February 2005

Welfare Policy Shake-Up
Brash Targets Welfare
Tsunami: a Million Jobs Lost

The Jobs Letter No.224
17 February 2005

Unemployment 3.6%
1-in-3 NZ Children in Poverty
Every Child Counts Campaign
Jobs Jolt Scaling Back

The Jobs Letter No.225
3 March 2005

Still Aiming for a Single Core Benefit
Wage Rises Less than Inflation
Prisoners Fill Labour Shortages

The Jobs Letter No.226
18 March 2005

1/4 of NZ’s Skilled People Live Overseas
Pleas for NZers to Come Home

The Jobs Letter No.227
4 April 2005

NZ “Least Generous” to Families
Teens Urged to Fill Trades Gap
Oz & NZ Compete for Workers

The Jobs Letter No.228
15 April 2005

Trades Filling 4-of-10 Jobs
Debt Directing Graduate Doctors’ Careers

The Jobs Letter No.229
4 May 2005

Record Low Benefit Numbers
Focus on Child Well-Being
Poorer People Die Younger
2/3 the World’s Resources Are Already Used

The Jobs Letter No.230
17 May 2005

Unemployment 3.9
Defence Force Short Staffed
Caregivers Leaving Sector

The Jobs Letter No.231
1 June 2005

Budget 2005 for Jobs
Work–Focus for DPB, SB & IB

The Jobs Letter No.232
15 June 2005

Poor Countries Training NZ Doctors
Oz & NZ’s German Job Expo
“Working for Families” Concerns

The Jobs Letter No.233
28 June 2005

Making Poverty History:
Campaign to End World Poverty
The Poverty Issues: Debt, Aid, Trade

The Jobs Letter No.234
5 July 2005

Oz Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs
Argentina’s Job Guarantee

The Jobs Letter No.235
25 July 2005

NZ with 2nd Highest Job Growth
OECD: Globalisation Job Losses Inevitable
Labour Shortage Near Record High

The Jobs Letter No.236
4 August 2005

Election 2005: the Parties’ Employment Policies

The Jobs Letter No.237
18 August 2005

Unemployment 3.7%
Social Report 2005
No Student Loan Interest for Residents

The Jobs Letter No.238
1 September 2005

Tax Cuts and Child Poverty
Skills Shortage Biggest Voter Concern
Parties’ Skills Shortage Policies

The Jobs Letter No.239
15 September 2005

Hurricane Katrina costs 400,000 Jobs
National’s Work-for-the-Dole Plan
Keepng Older Workers

The Jobs Letter No.240
29 September 2005

Asia Unemployment Highest Ever
Americans to Work After They Retire

The Jobs Letter No.241
20 October 2005

Benson-Pope New Minister
Oil Prices Affecting NZ
Is Oil Production Peaking?

The Jobs Letter No.242
14 November 2005

Unemployment and Paris Riots
Farewell to Rod Donald

The Jobs Letter No.243
5 December 2005

Unemployment 3.4%
Briefings to the New Minister
Challenge to “Working For Families”
Mayors Want Young People Connected

The Jobs Letter No.244
20 December 2005

Schools & Businesses on Skill Shortages
Abolish Youth Rates?
Freight Costs Costing Jobs

The Jobs Letter No.245
24 January 2006

Skilled Migrant Criteria Raised
Denmark Keeps Jobs at Home
“Making Poverty History” all Headlines

The Jobs Letter No.246
9 February 2006

Industry NZ Grants:
Corporate Welfare or Social Investment?
Total Benefit Numbers Down

The Jobs Letter No.247
24 February 2006

Unemployment 3.6%
Buy Kiwi-Made

The Jobs Letter No.248
10 March 2006

Skill Shortage Solutions
90-Day Probationary Bill
Youth Rates and the Minimum Wage

The Jobs Letter No.249
31 March 2006

The Benson-Pope Interview
French Youth Unemployment
NZers Still Pouring into Oz

The Jobs Letter No.250
28 April 2006

Bringing Graduates Home
“Working for Families” Debate
Early Childhood Interventions

The Jobs Letter No.251
17 May 2006

Unemployment 3.9%
WINZ “New Service”
Petrol Prices Shaping the Economy

The Jobs Letter No.252
9 June 2006

NZ Public Servants Wanted in Oz
Maori Unemployment
Working While Pregnant Warning

The Jobs Letter No.253
30 June 2006

UK Recruiting NZ Social Workers
OECD Employment Strategies
Govt Warns Against Wage Rises

LAST Diary

The Jobs
Research Trust

— a not-for-profit charitable trust constituted in New Zealand in 1994. The Jobs Research Trust published The Jobs Letter from September 1994 through August 2006. To develop and distribute information that will help our communities create more jobs and reduce unemployment and poverty in New Zealand.

Jo Howard
Rodger Smith
Dave Owens
vivian Hutchinson

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Web Updates
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Patron Saint
Florence Nightingale

The Jobs
Research Trust

P.O.Box 428
New Plymouth
New Zealand

phone 06-753-4434
fax 06-753-4430

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Jobs. Employment. Livelihood. Poverty. Education. Opportunity. These have been, and will continue to be essential issues for New Zealand.

Over the last 12 years, The Jobs Letter has kept a focus on where we have come from and where we are going with these issues. We have tried to help our readers understand what has happened to the fabric of our country since the economic reforms of the late 80s and 90s. Every 2-3 weeks, we have reported the essential information on the assessments and statistics involved in these issues, and what our country is learning from them. And we’ve tried to imagine what will be the next big influences, challenges and opportunities as we approach the second decade of the 21st century.

In this final issue of The Jobs Letter, we have thrown our pages and website over to our readers — all of whom have participated in the debate about jobs, unemployment, welfare and poverty in New Zealand, and many of whom have contributed to current public policy. We have encouraged these readers to give us their views on three questions:

    1) What has our country achieved on employment and poverty issues over the last 12 years?

    2) What have we learned?

    3) What do you think will be the main issues that we will need to focus on in the next 12 years?

We have also included a section from the Trustees of The Jobs Research Trust ... which includes our take on these questions... and where our work as a community group may be heading after The Jobs Letter ...


  • David Benson-Pope, Minister of Social Development and Employment

  • David Benson-Pope
    We’ve achieved a lot since 1999, when the Labour-led Government took office. In the mid-1990s the so-called ‘economic miracle’ had left many families behind. Today, we have: record low unemployment (3.6%); record high employment (2,129,000 people in work); record high labour force participation (68.8%).

    Between June 1999 and June 2006: Unemployment Benefit numbers fell 74%, from 150,000 to 39,700. And overall benefit numbers fell 25%, from 371,000 to 280,300.

    These gains have been shared by everyone — Maori, Pacific, Pakeha, other ethnicities, women, and men. There has been a dramatic progress over the past seven years.

    360,000 families are getting targeted tax relief through Working for Families. The ‘average family’ (two children, middle income), receives around $70 a week. Working for Families was launched in 2004, and is forecast to reduce child poverty by 30% or 70% by 2007, depending on which measurement we use.

    The Social Report 2006 confirmed that New Zealanders have better income, education, employment, health, and life expectancy than they did in the mid-1990s. The Social Report also showed that income inequality increased between 2001 and 2004, because higher incomes increased more than lower. Working for Families is addressing this gap.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ]

  • Peter Hughes, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development
  • Peter Hughes

    Twelve Years On — More of us are working and most of us are better off.

    New Zealand’s labour market has undergone dramatic changes since The Jobs Letter was published for the first time 12 years ago. Take the combined population of Dunedin and Oamaru, roughly 127,000 and that is the number of working aged people who have disappeared from the dole queue over that time.

    This fantastic progress has been mirrored in other key areas. The unemployment rate for Maori has dropped from 19.8% in June 94 to 8.2% today. Pacific peoples’ unemployment rate is down from 23.4% to 5.9% for the same period.

    In the past 12 years, the number of sole parents on the Domestic Purposes Benefit has reduced by more than 5,600, the equivalent of the population of Otaki.

    As a result of reducing unemployment, more jobs, rising real wages, and increases in housing assistance for those at the lower end, household incomes have risen in real terms across the whole distribution.

    Income poverty levels have fallen from 27% to 19% overall and from 34% to 21% for children since the mid 90s, using the Social Report’s constant value poverty line.

    The relative poverty measure used by the OECD is not as positive. Because middle incomes have risen slightly more quickly than lower incomes, relative income poverty has risen from 9% to 11% overall and from 13% to 15% for children. However, there is no doubt that the vast majority of New Zealanders are much better off today than 12 years ago.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Sue Bradford, Green Party MP Responsible for Employment, Welfare, Community

  • Sue Bradford

    1994 was the year of the Employment Taskforce. Unemployment was very high, intergenerational unemployment and poverty were becoming entrenched features of New Zealand life, and young people, tangata whenua and Pacific Island peoples were disproportionately unemployed. National had cut benefits drastically and used work - for - the - dole, lengthy stand down periods and the threat of time limited benefits to further harass beneficiaries.

    What has been achieved since then? Some highlights:

      Unemployment rates have massively reduced, but there are still hundreds of thousands of people who would like work, or more or better work, but can’t get it. The numbers of people on Sickness and Invalids Benefits has increased proportionately since 1994.

      More young people proportionately are in work, education and training, partly a result of the excellent work of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs in partnership with the Labour Government.

      Work and Income puts a much greater focus now on helping beneficiaries to get work when they first register, and has extended employment assistance beyond those on the dole.

      Forced work - for - the - dole for unemployed people no longer exists, and people on the Domestic Purposes Benefit are no longer work-tested on pain of losing their benefit. Stand down periods have been cut from 26 to 13 weeks.

    Some lowlights:

      Young people, mature aged people, Maori and Pacific Island peoples, refugees and migrants, and those with long-term illness, injury or impairment are still disproportionately unemployed.

      Benefit levels have never been restored to their pre-1991 equivalent levels. Poverty continues to affect beneficiaries and beneficiary families disproportionately and the gap between the well-off and the very poor continues to widen.

      The Labour Government has entrenched discrimination against beneficiary families through Working for Families, and has effectively cut benefits through abolishing the Special Benefit. They have created no go zones for the unemployed, further institutionalising some parts of rural and provincial NZ as being economically hopeless cases.

      Labour has got rid of the Community Employment Group, the only part of government which — for all its faults — even attempted a conscious community economic development function.

  • Geoff Bascand, Deputy Government Statistician, Statistics New Zealand
  • Geoff Bascand

    Three huge employment accomplishments stand out for me over the past 12-15 years. The first is the tremendous growth in employment and corresponding reduction in unemployment we have achieved. In June 1994, the unemployment rate was 8.3%, after being 9.5% on average in 1993 and 10.3% on average in 1991 & 1992. It is now 3.6%. Employment has grown by some 520,000 jobs since June 1994. That is almost a third more people employed, with the increased dignity, social involvement and income that results.

    The second is achieving large rises in labour force participation, particularly amongst women and those transitioning to retirement. The overall labour force participation rate is at an all time high. Female participation in the labour force is now 8 percentage points higher than it was in June 1994 (62% c.f. 54.9%), while amongst persons aged 60-64 it has risen from 32.5% to 62.7%. For many of these people, their workforce engagement is on a part-time basis, which they balance with other activities. Social trends, economic drivers, and policy levers are all at work here, but together they have supported and enabled a large number of people to engage in some part in the labour market.

    The third is to banish the bogus notion that full-employment is unattainable. This change in understanding and optimism about the future is very significant. Twelve years ago it was common in some circles to suppose that we would not see low-unemployment again; that we had to adjust to a world where jobs were scarce and work was a privilege of the fortunate that needed special rules to share it around. Surely that falsity is now gone. With appropriate labour market rules and sustained economic growth, it is now clear that employment growth does result and unemployment need only be a temporary situation.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Jim Anderton, Progressive Party Leader and Government Minister

  • Jim Anderton

    The Household Labour Force Survey of August 2006, reported an outstanding report card on the state of the jobs market — employment growth stood at an astounding 1% in the three month period, there was also a big lift in hours worked (1.4%) and a new record was achieved in New Zealand’s employment or ‘participation’ rate (68.8%), the highest rate ever recorded.

    These are incredible results and the past six years have seen almost unbelievable changes in employment opportunities for Kiwis. In my view, one of this Labour-Progressive’s government’s greatest achievements to date have been reversing the trend of mass unemployment and getting New Zealanders back into work — 2,129,000 of us are now in work, the highest level of employment ever recorded and up 22,000 from the previous quarter. Almost all that increase is driven by full-time, rather than part-time, work.

    I have now been in Parliament for 22 years and I can honestly say that most of my rewarding times have been during the period of 1999 – 2005 overseeing the ‘jobs machine’ and initiating economic development as Minister of Economic, Regional and Industry Development.

    How has this been achieved?

    New Zealand did not get the lowest rate of unemployment in the developed world and enjoy years of solid growth through good luck! In the days of the National government, I use to say there wasn’t an unemployment problem — there was an unemployment policy.

    With the election of a new government, there were fundamental changes to the way things were done. Investment in economic and regional development was pioneered and now has become the status quo. We had a partnership model and involved everyone who could help build New Zealand again — with industry, central and local government, tertiary education institutions and others.

    We got advantage from our small size in developing networks. We have come a long way since those times but still have problems, many of which are hangovers from the past. For example, our current skills shortage isn’t only caused by our success in getting more people into jobs but is partly a legacy of the ‘hands-off’ governments of the 1980s and 1990s.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Jane Kelsey, Professor of Law at The University of Auckland
  • Jane Kelsey
    The upheavals of the early 1990s shocked and dismayed a majority of New Zealanders. Almost everyone in 1991 knew someone who was unemployed who did not fit the negative stereotype. Poverty became an undesirable part of the everyday lexicon. Growing inequalities between rich and poor were seen as problematic. So was the deterioration in quality and accessibility of our health and education services, especially for those most in need. Tax cuts for the rich were seen to bear a large part of the blame. So was the mentality of greed and self-interest that fuelled the excesses of the market. The Treaty of Waitangi was hailed as the constitutional foundation stone of the nation.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Margaret Crozier, Senior Analyst, Department of Labour

  • Margaret_Crozier

    On the surface the figures look good with high participation rates. However, income disparities are high compared to OECD. Unemployment rates for Maori are three times higher than for the general population. Child poverty 50% higher than before the economic reforms of the late 1980’s. Deprived households, i.e. those with low-income and low work skills, are disproportionately high particularly for Maori, Pacific families and migrants — and constitute more than a third of households in the Auckland region. Large numbers of young people are still leaving school without qualifications. The Ministry of Social Development reports high levels of churn: i.e. turnover of people in low-income jobs. And large numbers of people that have been recruited from outside New Zealand face major issues integrating into the New Zealand labour market and accessing health services.

    On the plus side, there were some great initiatives from community organisations, and some good partnering from government through the Community Employment Group, which demonstrated that empowering people can generate new opportunities for job creation in sectors like resource recovery, Maori land development, community services, cultural and sports projects, small loan funds, enterprise training and rural marketing.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Paul Dalziel, Professor of Economics at Lincoln University

  • Paul Dalziel

    June 1994 marked the last major element in New Zealand’s decade of radical economic reform, with the passing of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The economy had recovered from the lengthy recession associated with the April 1991 benefit cuts, but the unemployment rate was still 8.2% for the country as a whole, and was 14% for Maori and Pacific Island workers. Proponents of the reform agenda were refusing to acknowledge the increase in poverty and despair that had been generated by the reforms, so that one of the great contributions of The Jobs Letter was to provide a place for the cry of the poor to be heard.

    Twelve years later, the atmosphere has certainly changed. Unemployment in June 2006 is 3.2%. The government’s policies of regional development have helped all parts of the country to share in the long period of growth after the 1998 downturn. Policy makers and employers are now more worried about skill shortages rather than long-term structural unemployment. The Ministry of Social Development’s Social Report 2006 reveals that most (but not all) indicators of social wellbeing have improved since 1994.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Brian Easton, Economist

  • Brian Easton

    It seems such a long time since unemployment peaked in early 1992 at 11.1% of the labour force, when over 181,000 New Zealanders were jobless and actively seeking work. Others had become so disheartened that they were not even bothering to seek work.

    Even that figure is misleading as to the size of the trauma. In the 57 months between October 1988 to June 1993, 754,312 had enrolled on the New Zealand Employment Service register. To give some idea of this magnitude, the average size of the labour force was about 1,612,000 people, so the enrolled unemployed represented about 47% of that total. Because people were entering the labour market (from school leavers, those returning to work and immigrants) this over-estimates the proportion. But because not everyone who was unemployed registered the actual numbers involved were considerably higher. Whatever the true and meaningful figure there is no question that 15 years ago New Zealand was going through its worse period of unemployment since the Great Depression.

    The official rate of unemployment is now 3.6%, which under estimates the change, since there has also been a reduction of those not-in-the-labour force.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Paul Callister, Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University
  • Paul Callister
    We have created a flexible and dynamic labour market which is able to generate a high level of employment. We have also greatly increased participation in education so through this have, hopefully, lifted the skill levels and the productivity of the workforce.

    However, we still have a long way to go in term of reducing poverty, especially child poverty. Connected with this, we have also seen an increase in income inequality.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Susan St John, Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland Business School
  • Susan St John

    The quantity of employment has increased, but the quality of employment for people on low-incomes has diminished. Curing poverty is not always a question of getting a job. By using the focus on work as the only way out of poverty we have lost sight of the poorest children who can’t wait that long. It is outrageous that the percentage of children in hardship in 2004 is 38% compared to those over the age of 65 where it is only 8%. We have a very long way to go in achieving for the young what we have achieved for the old. Working for Families is not the answer even if it does cure poverty for some low-income working families.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Ross Wilson, President of the NZ Council of Trade Unions

  • Ross Wilson

    We are still very much feeling the effects of the free market assault 1980s and 1990s — the harsh employment legislation, economic deregulation and privatisation, high unemployment and benefit cuts. As a result, the gap between the rich and the poor grew markedly.

    In the last six years some steps have been made to address this gap, with a more active state and unions as social partners. The minimum wage has risen from $7 to $10.25 without any significant effect on employment levels, major increases in skills and industry training funding, much improved parental leave provisions and health and safety laws that involve and empower workers. And unions have campaigned hard to lift wages, in particular for low-income and minimum wage workers.

    Working for Families will have an effect on many low-income families, however as this year’s Social Report showed us there remains significant numbers of people facing severe hardship, and we must do much better to increase assistance to beneficiary families, in particular those with children.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Parekura Horomia, Minister of Maori Affairs; Associate Minister for Social Development
  • Parakura Horomia
    For Maori there have been dramatic changes. In the 1990s we had Maori on the Unemployment Benefit at 44,000, we are now down to 13,500. What that means is the vast majority of Maori are in mahi. And that focus is quality mahi with the re-introduction of apprenticeships and industry training. Working for Families has been huge, for Mum and Dad working hard to bring up their tamariki.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Peter McCardle, Former Minister of Employment

  • Peter McCardle

    Over the last 20 years, the strongest achievement has been the increase, (until 2006) in average real growth. This, as concluded by two separate and comprehensive studies by the OECD and Treasury, is due to the economic reforms of the 80s and 90s. From this economic growth has come more jobs, and an associated increase in average living standards.

    In my view the word ‘poverty’ is an emotive and subjective label, and is not in international comparisons strongly applicable to New Zealand. In terms of the significant ‘hardship’ faced by a number in our society, gains have been made on the back of stronger growth and more jobs. Reductions in beneficiary numbers, where most hardship is experienced, have been greatly enhanced by a greater focus on reducing benefit duration and the WINZ One Stop Shop service, which in particular has made job assistance more accessible to sole parents.

    On a separate level, there has been a positive devolution in relation to employment policy, with a moving on from employment policy being the exclusive domain of Head Office Officials in Wellington, with today far greater ability for regions to initiate, create and influence.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Nicky Hager, Writer
  • New Zealand has emerged from the depressing depths of free-market dominated politics. This had allowed humanitarian and socially concerned people across society to make concrete efforts on employment and poverty issues … and to make some progress. The current government had made some decent steps in both areas.

    However the achievements have been limited and undermined by a lack of courage or will. Many people who, politically are products of the free-market years, are still in positions of authority in the public service, science, business, parliament and elsewhere. They are the people who went along with the free-market policies and so were promoted during that period. As a result, although mostly the public has moved on, New Zealand is, by many measures, still one of the most deregulated, free-market countries in the world. Even the Labour Government has been unwilling to rethink most of the free-market ‘fundamentals’. Consequently we witness the division between rich and poor still growing, housing becoming unaffordable in cities for ordinary people (especially those under about 35-40 years old), companies becoming branch offices of their foreign owners and local industries being ground down by competition from low-wage countries.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Geoff Chapple, CEO of Te Araroa Trust

  • Geoff Chapple

    Both the Labour Governments of 1984-90 and the National Governments of 1990-1999 dismantled what had until then been accepted as the default responsibilities of a New Zealand Government: universal welfare, progressive taxation with high marginal rates at the top end, protection (Labour) or tolerance (National) of organised labour, and a strong civil service.

    When The Jobs Letter began in 1994, all these fundamentals were either diminished or gone. It was a period of rapid change and dislocation for workers, particularly those in government jobs, and the unskilled. Unemployment peaked at around 11% in the early 1990s, and was still running at 9.5% in 1994.

    From 1994, The Jobs Letter published regular factual profiles of these matters — even-handed as to its reportage on what the various political parties and the Ministries were doing about it. It promoted the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs with its goal of zero unemployment in the regions. It helped start the Community Employment Group which, at its best, encouraged industries in the smaller centres. The Jobs Letter added to this valuable portfolio by culling ideas and philosophy on the job market from sources around the world.

    In the 12 years to 2006 unemployment fell to 3.6%. Some credit should go to the reforms. Some credit should go to commitment by groups such as The Jobs Research Trust, that continued to agitate against any unemployment, and published The Jobs Letter.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Roger Tweedy, Work & Age Trust NZ / NEWORK Centre

  • Roger Tweedy

    Very hard to measure success in ‘employment’ area for a variety of reasons. A recent paper on Top Ten Workforce Forecasts for 2006 was sobering reading in that most issues are the same as we would have published in 1994 and to the ‘market’ they are seen as new issues. Maybe not a surprise as the community sector will always be an early adopter of ideas/trends being closer to the people. We seem to have made little progress on rethinking work — its role in income distribution, its fitting in with the new lifestyles and demands, its productivity through a more holistic lens, and of course the demographics of today’s and the future workforce.

    Have we a more employed but less fulfilled population? Has work become a necessary evil? Have we even started to comprehend work possibilities beyond that which has been with us since Henry Ford’s production lines? In Vivian’s words, ‘have we developed new livelihoods?’ Sadly I think not.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Wally Stone, Kaikoura
  • Wally Stone
    Those that believe unemployment and poverty is a social cancer that without treatment can cause terminal illness to individuals, families and communities will welcome the reduction in unemployment statistics during the past 12 years.

    However I am not sure we have achieved anything regarding poverty, maybe just disguised it.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Trevor Gray, Manager of the Tindall Foundation

  • trevorgray

    Unemployment is definitely down from the days I remember when you started publishing The Jobs Letter — when it was 90-100% in some communities in the Far North where I lived. Even youth unemployment, which remained disproportionately high for too long, has eased significantly. With the skills shortages we now face, it will need constant, if slightly different attention still.

    Poverty is more of a worry. The most recent Ministry of Social Development Social Report placed around one - third of NZ children in homes below the poverty line, with not all being helped by the Working for Families package. In times of apparent plenty and full employment, this is surely unacceptable.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Donna Wynd, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

  • Donna Wynd

    Growth in jobs has not been matched by growth in incomes for low-paid workers and beneficiaries. Many of the jobs created are low-paid, casual service jobs with few benefits or promotion prospects. The poor quality of many jobs can be seen in the increased number of children living in poverty. While many of those in severe and significant hardship are beneficiaries, others are working families. While poverty levels are down from the highs of the mid-90’s, income inequality has continued to grow, and remains well above what it was in the 1980s. In the last 12 years we have achieved a more divided society, and a rising tide of poverty-related social and health problems.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Ian Ritchie, Manawatu
  • Ian Ritchie
    We have achieved very little. Certainly no change in the context from which policy decisions come from. The drivers of both poverty and unemployment remain unchanged. While employment statistics may be up, they are counterbalanced by empty shops in the main street, the massive growth in loan sharks and the dominance of slave labour imports which help people survive. The government is continuing to reduce income support for beneficiaries and increase subsidies for low-wages. Working for Families is the third stage of the latter.

  • Alister Barry, Documentary maker
  • Alister Barry

    What has been achieved is a refinement of the use of poverty and unemployment as instruments to achieve price stability (low inflation).

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Dr Anne Else, Freelance writer; Research Associate, Gender and Women’s Studies, Victoria University
    Dr Anne Else

    On paper it’s looking good for the Pakeha majority, with much lower official unemployment. But for Maori, Pacific and groups such as refugees, while there have been major improvements, unemployment remains alarmingly high. And with so many casual, insecure, and above all low-paid ‘jobs’, it’s not surprising that rather than a steady decline in poverty and hardship, we’re seeing a marked escalation even among those who do have paid work, let alone those on benefits.

    There have been similarly double-edged developments for women. It’s excellent for women, families and the country that women’s rights — not just to paid employment, but to the full range of occupations and positions — is now widely recognised, and paid parental leave is certainly a major achievement. But it seems grossly unfair that women struggling to cope alone with caring for children and other dependent family members are now clearly being expected to shoulder the full burden of wage-earning as well or else be condemned to barely existing on a manifestly inadequate benefit income. This dilemma is starkly highlighted by the fact that poverty is clustered so markedly among families with children. Paid work can only ever be part of the answer.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Paul Matheson, Mayor of Nelson; Chairperson of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

  • Paul Matheson
    Over the last 12 years we have seen a huge decrease in unemployment from the highs of the early 1990’s. This has been achieved not only through economic growth but the combined efforts of many determined and visionary groups and individuals.

    Many community groups began in order to address the issue of unemployment and sought to provide training and skill development for those who were displaced by the economic ‘reforms’ of the 80s. The need for such training has now become part of almost every project or programme which seeks to address these issues. There has been some recognition that the private sector alone cannot create all the jobs we need and many have been created in the public and voluntary sectors and many government agencies now recognise that community groups are often best placed to address social issues.

    There have also been attempts to involve all participants in problem solving and acknowledgement that all agencies, community groups, the private and public sectors must work together if we are to continue to provide work and livelihood for all New Zealanders. The need to lift incomes, provide quality work and increase productivity is also increasingly being heard. We have achieved much with our large companies in the way of quality flexible work and some are now wrestling with the issues of ensuring all employees have the ability to work hours which allow for a better quality of life.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Denise Eaglesome, Deputy Mayor of Wairoa; Wairoa College Youth Co-ordinator
  • Denise Eaglesome
    Our country has achieved some good things regarding employment, e.g. Modern Apprenticeships, Gateway in schools, Youth Transition programmes, just to name a few of the initiatives in the latter years. But I don’t believe it has addressed poverty. Poverty is not only about having a job ... it’s about environment, home, health, education and abuse (in all its forms).

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Lindsay Jeffs, Christchurch Small Business Enterprise Centre
  • New Zealand has in real terms achieved a substantial reduction in the levels of unemployment whilst also increasing the percentage of people participating in the workforce. When measured against other Western countries our performance has been well above par. However, it is interesting to note that skills shortages are still occurring in certain industry sectors such as the building, engineering and construction, as was also the case in 1994. On issues regarding poverty the numbers of New Zealanders living below the poverty line has increased and in comparative terms with other countries we have performed below par.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Jenny Brash, Mayor of Porirua City

  • Jenny Brash

    What have we achieved? This is a huge question! I believe people are better off now in general but there is a bigger gap between rich and poor. The Social Report just out goes into this in depth. Young people, especially young Maori and Pacific people, are over represented in unemployment stats but this has improved steadily i.e. a drop in their unemployment levels.

    I believe that the establishment of Youth Transition Services in local Council areas is a huge step forward in ensuring our young people do not fall into the gaps but make a successful transition from school to work or further education. Together with Gateway programmes, STAR programmes, local programmes like Partners Porirua and the Designing Careers Programmes, hopefully all our young people can reach their full potential. We cannot afford any of our young people to fall by the wayside.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Ron Sharp, Motueka Community House
  • We have achieved a reduction in the numbers of unemployed — but at what cost? We have ‘stabilised’ our society by making middle and working class New Zealanders more insecure and busier, working longer hours for the same or less pay. We travel further in heavier traffic to find tolerable jobs. We borrow more and take extra work to pay for hire purchases and loans. We are not sure whether our jobs will be safe next year. Overtime is diminishing and working hours can be any time of day or night. There has been a huge increase in anxiety and insecurity. Many people escape into addictions and fundamentalist beliefs. Everyone knows that the few super rich manipulate the system, but divert workers anger by scapegoating beneficiaries and Maori and Pacific Islanders and Asian immigrants and gays and terrorists and highly developed techniques fanned by media control and ‘talk-back’ radio. The astonishing inequality in wealth gives rise to enormous disparities in income, quality of life and opportunities.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Brigid Ryan, Project Coordinator of the Settling In Project, Family and Community Services, Ministry of Social Development
  • Employment levels have increased and this can be a good thing for family dynamics and the personal self esteem of the individual who is working. Single parent families where that one parent’s primary role is care of the children continue to struggle. The poverty of those families is still one of the biggest challenges to New Zealanders in 2006.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Peter Conway, Economist for the NZ Council of Trade Unions
    Peter Conway
  • There are pervasive legacies from the 1984-99 period of neo-liberalism. Income disparity, poverty among low-income families, high housing costs, low investment in skills and infrastructure, wages 35% lower than Australia, low capital per worker, high private debt fuelled by profits of overseas owned firms and so on.

    But there are positives. There has been a 46% increase in the minimum wage since 1999 — yet unemployment kept falling. A 30% fall in working-age beneficiaries, a doubling of industry training funding, four weeks annual leave on the way, paid parental leave, time-and-a-half for work on public holidays, stronger health and safety laws, and the scrapping of the Employment Contracts Act.

    But the diffidence by government towards stronger employment regulation, particularly on industry bargaining, has meant that labour market shortages are not in general translating into higher wages.

    Working for Families will make a big difference. But a policy design linking ‘making work pay’ and ‘child poverty’ was not the best approach. A universal family benefit separated from other initiatives to ‘make work pay’ would have been better.

    But after the 1980s and 1990s it is a relief to have a government that actually cares about the unemployed, low-income families, and fairness at work and actually tries to help by investing in people and skills. Not everything works as well as we would like — but we are a much better country in 2006 than we were in 1994.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Sandi Morrison, QSM; Chair Economic Development Association of NZ; Trustee of the Big Idea Charitable Trust

  • Sandi Morrison

    It’s still hard to believe that the percentage of people unemployed in New Zealand reached double figures in the 90’s. And now New Zealand has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the OECD. People with vision in communities throughout the country channelled effort, advocacy and creativity into all manner of employment programmes and community-based enterprises to mediate the crippling impact of high-unemployment. It is sobering to ponder whether the current low rates of unemployment in this century are an outcome of macro economic forces which bear little relationship to the significant public and community investment that was a feature of the 90’s. In spite of New Zealand’s recent economic growth and low unemployment rate, there are deep pockets of poverty in a number of our marginalised communities; there has not been a fair distribution of the economic benefits.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Lindsay Mitchell, Institute for Liberal Values NZ

  • Lindsay Mitchell

    While the inroads into unemployment have been significant, inroads into poverty have not. This is because poverty is largely associated with long-term benefit dependency. While 11% or 1-in-9 working age people are still on benefits, hardship will persist. So ‘official’ unemployment is down but the unemployment of other beneficiaries is either static or up.

    Women and children dominate the lower socio-economic group and their situation has remained largely unchanged. In fact, according to recent reports, more single parents (90% are mothers) are experiencing ‘severe hardship’.

    As a group women appear to be becoming more economically polarised. The employment rate of single parents is the second lowest in the developed world. The percentage of one-parent homes where nobody works increased slightly over the year to June 2006. Over the past few years, it hasn’t deviated far from 50% in either direction. This is mainly due to the long-term availability of the Domestic Purposes Benefit.

    Persuasive measures to move people off this benefit have not been very successful. Although recipients are commonly described as ‘well-motivated,’ the statistics do not bear this out. There are still around 37,000 single parents with school-age children only, who do no paid work outside the home. Treasury is well aware of the potential for productivity growth if the employment rate for these women could be raised. The stubbornly low rate can no longer be blamed on a lack of jobs.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Gordon Hudson, Manager of Like Minds Taranaki

  • Gordon Hudson

    On employment — the country has achieved a great deal of success — albeit much as a result of negative policies as much as positive. Unemployment rates are at a record low 3.6%, with Maori continuing to be twice the average figure. The economy is buoyant and the future growth of Aotearoa New Zealand seems assured — albeit at a less rate.

    On the negative side, the changes in technology and free trade has left a number of previously skilled people employed in manufacturing without jobs and many without the skills new employment requires. There has been precious little resourcing for support and retraining for these usually mature workers.

    The lack of forward planning within the tertiary education sector, particularly for trades personnel, combined with the disempowerment of unions has resulted in a mass exodus of skilled tradespeople overseas and a lack of training programmes — resulting in much of the skills shortages that we now need for out own economic infrastructure.

    There is a clear need to ensure that we do not continue losing more younger people in the workforce than join it. And ensure that we maintain and retain those currently within the workforce. This will need further government incentives to ensure that Aotearoa/New Zealand competes favourably with our major international competitors in the employment field.

    And there seems a lack of acceptance by business leaders that there is a need for more innovative practices within the workplace to encourage younger workers to stay longer and contribute more — as well as more flexible working conditions enabling more women to return to the workforce and more mature workers to continue working.

    Despite buoyant economic conditions, the percentage of people living below the poverty line continues to increase, as do the wealthy. Clearly, further tax cuts for the wealthy are not a priority however a non-taxable first $5,000-$10,000 of income would assist those that need it the most.

    With poverty comes increased costs in health, housing and welfare in particular. A non-taxable first $5,000-$10,000 could be more cost effective than it would, on paper, seem.

    Current boosts to family care packages and student allowances/debts will go a long way to meeting financial needs of the future, however their impact has yet to be felt.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Darel Hall, Executive Director of Industry Training Federation
  • Darel_Hall.jpg - 3926 Bytes
    Demographics have largely eroded the employment issue except in some pockets e.g. youth. At least with such high employment most people have an opportunity to not be poor. But employment has to be connected with ideas of a brighter future to work.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Janfrie Wakim, Child Poverty Action Group
  • Sadly, the reasons which lead to the formation of Child Poverty Action Group 12 years ago, still exist today, however, at least the reality of poverty is now recognised after years of denial. Some clear effort has been made to attend to child poverty (Working For Families) but the benefits of the measures taken have not reached the poorest families. Furthermore, coercing mothers into paid work — as their contribution to society — has been prioritised over children’s needs.

    Unemployment has fallen to its lowest levels in over 12 years but costs have risen faster than wages and too many parents are working long hours in jobs which produce insufficient income for their families. Of greatest concern is that the income gap between well-off and poor families continues to widen.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Dr Judy McGregor, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner
  • Dr Judy McGregor
    We have achieved record labour participation and low-unemployment which is great news for all New Zealanders. But not all of the jobs constitute ‘decent’ work and poverty in New Zealand is shamefully high — particularly for marginalised communities and disadvantaged people. For Maori families with dependant children 20% are in severe hardship and for Pacific families the figure is 30%.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Hugh Hughes, Retired teacher and headmaster
  • Hugh Hughes

    As a casual observer, I believe there’s been significant gains made in empowering people who are unemployed. And in some cases there have been gains in community leadership regarding employment initiatives including skill enhancement through co-operative action. But unfortunately this has been patchy.

    While there has been some spin off from this in poverty reduction, ingrained welfare dependency and attitudes, along with the wide variety of social problems, especially in particular pockets, indicates this remains a major handicap to developing a civilized society.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Yvonne Sharp, Mayor of the Far North District Council
  • Yvonnne Sharp
    I would give our collective effort on these interrelated fronts of employment and poverty a mark of 7-out-of-10. Overall, the improving statistics read well, but under the surface the underlying causes of poverty and unemployment have not been fully addressed. Getting to the core of longstanding, often intergenerational unemployment in poverty-stricken areas requires a lot more effort. This need is readily apparent in our remote rural communities who are continually challenged by the lack of basic infrastructure and the tyranny of distance to commerce and traditional employment.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Graeme Dingle, Chairperson of the Foundation for Youth Development

  • Graeme Dingle

    It is dangerous to comment when one isn’t well informed so I’m going to stick to the area I know — youth development. Here at the Foundation for Youth Development we currently have around 14,000 young people in programmes that last between 12 and 14 months. As well, we train about 400 adult mentors per year. We have about 650 people around the country working in both voluntary and paid capacities delivering truly amazing outcomes for young people. What has this got to do with employment and poverty issues? Everything! Each of our programmes has a role to play in minimising negative youth outcomes. ‘Kiwi Can’ teaches values to primary school students. ‘Stars’ works with all Year 9 students in a participating school and trains senior students to be peer mentors. ‘Project K’ targets Year 10 students with low self-efficacy. Good evaluation is vital and we pride ourselves on doing this well. For example we can prove that our programmes motivate students to stay in school and we know if they stay in school their employment and tertiary training opportunities are greatly enhanced.

    It has taken us 11 years to build the capacity and systems to support big numbers in programmes but we can now grow to 50,000 young people in programmes in quite a short time. We should soon be able to measure our outcomes against negative youth statistics.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Garry Moore, Mayor of Christchurch; Founding Chairperson of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs
  • Garry Moore
    The country has gone through a period of sustained growth and high levels of employment. There, however, continues to be poverty issues associated with low wages, part-time work, poor skills and lack of training. Some of this is as a result of several generations moving outside the work force.

    One of our best achievements, as the Mayors Task Force for Jobs, has been our opportunity to raise the profile of the importance of trade training in our community. The Trade Training Graduation Ceremony in Christchurch has been a huge success and is enjoyed by graduates and their families and employers.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

  • Bob Austin, Pathways Project Officer, Rotorua District Council
  • What we have achieved is opportunities for the majority of people to obtain paid full-time work and gain recognised industry qualifications. We have a labour market where demand now outstrips supply, enabling individuals and or groups to bargain from a position of strength. This is in stark contrast to the 1990s where high unemployment allowed employers to dictate wage rates and conditions of employment.

    We have increased opportunities for people to gain transferable skills which enable them to work in a variety of occupations and recognition of the importance of transferable skills in a labour market that dictates workers will have a number of jobs during their ‘working life’. Workers will often change careers in order to achieve a better work life balance and/or secure a more stable income stream.

    There is recognition that those who had been unemployed for a long period of time were often victims of the environment and that with the right assistance, could make a worthwhile contribution to their community. And there is recognition that local authorities have an important part to play in providing local solutions to local employment problems.

    Central government has been divesting itself of many of it’s core functions, believing that by empowering local communities, better outcomes can be achieved. Local government is seen as politically neutral and reflecting the aims and aspirations of the community it serves. The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs is one such example.

    We have seen significant improvement in the level and variety of qualifications achieved by people of all ages especially Maori. This in turn has allowed a large number of people to gain positions of responsibility in both the professions and the trades.

    The gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ continues to widen despite efforts by government to target assistance to those most in need.

    [ Achieved ][ Learned ][ Future ][ Top ]

    Jim Anderton
    Bob Austin
    Alister Barry
    Geoff Bascand
    David Benson-Pope
    Sue Bradford
    Jenny Brash
    Paul Callister
    Geoff Chapple
    Peter Conway
    Margaret Crozier
    Paul Dalziel
    Graeme Dingle
    Denise Eaglesome
    Brian Easton
    Anne Else
    Trevor Gray
    Nicky Hager
    Darel Hall
    Grifen Hope
    Parekura Horomia
    Jo Howard
    Gordon Hudson
    Hugh Hughes
    Peter Hughes
    vivian Hutchinson
    Lindsay Jeffs
    Jane Kelsey
    Peter McCardle
    Judy McGregor
    Paul Matheson
    Lindsay Mitchell
    Garry Moore
    Sandi Morrison
    Russel Norman
    Dave Owens
    Ian Ritchie
    Brigid Ryan
    Ron Sharp
    Yvonne Sharp
    Rodger Smith
    Susan St John
    Wally Stone
    Roger Tweedy
    Janfrie Wakim
    Ross Wilson
    Donna Wynd

    voices.gif - 1333 Bytes


    You have made a huge contribution to so many during The Jobs Letter’s lifetime. It was the only voice that was accessible and courageous. You made complex data digestible and you provided the nearest thing to what many community people could call ‘professional development’. I believe you have had one of the few roles of monitoring social and economic consequences in NZ since the NZ Planning Council disbanded. My good wishes to you in your future endeavours.
    — Hilary Allison

    I would like to close with a salute to The Jobs Letter team for being there for people during the last 12 years. Many of these years were bleak. I am glad you leave with good times, and hopefully, with effort and perseverance, even better times are ahead. I wish you all the best in your future projects and endeavours.
    — Jim Anderton

    It is sad that all our efforts at local, regional and national levels to fight poverty and unemployment are wiped out every few years by the Reserve Bank and yet we were never able to organize ourselves politically to stop it.
    — Alister Barry

    This must be a celebration for having worked yourselves out of this particular job! A huge thank you to The Jobs Letter for its persistent and passionate belief that unemployment should be eliminated, and for its superb contribution to the community. It is a great reminder to those of us in a similar business that disseminating high quality and relevant information is important. The Jobs Letter has been a must-read of mine for many years and I will miss it greatly.
    — Geoff Bascand

    We’ve achieved a lot, but there’s more to do. We will continue to make real progress through working in partnership with business and employers, with iwi and community groups and with non-government organisations.
    Government has a key role to play in building a strong economy and a strong society, but it’s not a job for us alone. We highly value our partnerships with people and organisations across New Zealand’s diverse and growing society.
    — David Benson-Pope

    I would like to thank the members of the Jobs Research Trust for all the work they have done over the last 12 years in providing an invaluable resource for all of us who work in the area of employment and welfare. You have done an amazing job and I will miss The Jobs Letter tremendously.
    — Sue Bradford

    I am very sad that this is the last issue of The Jobs Letter. I congratulate and thank most sincerely Vivian, Dave, and The Jobs Letter team who have produced a very professional, very readable and very useful newsletter every 2 weeks for many years. It provided very valuable information and commentary for me and my Council on current employment issues that we needed to know about and to think about! Issues discussed were always topical and very relevant. You have made a huge contribution to reducing unemployment in your own right by ensuring we as readers of the Jobs Newsletter were kept informed. Thank you again and best wishes to you all.
    — Jenny Brash

    The Jobs Letter began when unemployment was a very worrying feature of New Zealand life. In a balanced way, the letter played an important part in helping a wide range of New Zealanders understand the problems that were then facing employers, employees, the unemployed and the government. All those involved in The Jobs Letter can take some credit for the gains we have made since this difficult period.
    — Paul Callister

    It interests me that we formed Te Araroa Trust in 1994, within a month of The Jobs Letter’s first publication. We were all concerned then about unemployment. Our trust had a vision of Te Araroa being constructed quickly, with black singlets massed along its length. The unemployed would work alongside politicians to do the job. It didn’t happen. Nothing happens quickly nor quite according to plan, but we’re still here, still doing it. As it segues to another form, I salute the Jobs Research Trust and its Jobs Letter, which was a beacon. I know its people will keep doing it, in whatever form.
    — Geoff Chapple

    It’s been a great newsletter. Networks matter. Open exchange of views is vital. Sometimes a complacency creeps in around employment when we have low levels of unemployment by historical standards. I remember in March 2000 when Westpac said that 6.3% unemployment was “worryingly low”. They were worried about wages and inflation — but it shows the problems that occur when (say) monetary policy becomes the main focus — rather than decent jobs and full employment. So — those in the union movement — along with readers of The Jobs Letter will need to keep the focus on jobs going.
    — Peter Conway

    Heartfelt thanks to The Jobs Letter team for keeping a spotlight on the issues of employment while economic policies have fluctuated between action and neglect. You communicated speedily and thoughtfully in a way that was accessible to a wide group of interested parties: local authorities, community projects, iwi, government employees, politicians and unemployed people. You kept an eye on the global picture and you fed the local networking which allowed us to share our thinking and be encouraged by the responses of others round the country.
    There is still work to be done. What will you do next? Kia kaha!
    — Margaret Crozier

    Thank you for all the time and energy you have all put into The Jobs Letter. It set a new benchmark of quality, clear accurate reporting, a watching/ tracking role on the issue of unemployment, great resources and commentary, and such a wide ranging distribution. 12 years is a long time to have been holding that role. I support you taking time to rest and review, as well as fully celebrating the many gains of the past 12 years. And of course I want to be kept in touch with what emerges from that considering.
    — Elaine Dyer

    Implicit in this brief review is an agenda for further work. It is sad that The Jobs Letter won’t be there to think about it, as it has been pursuing the earlier agenda set by the trauma of the 1987-1993 period. Who will?
    — Brian Easton

    I want to thank The Jobs Letter team for the outstanding contribution you have made to ensuring that the New Zealand public is better informed and encouraged to think and talk about these important issues. As a freelance commentator, I will miss The Jobs Letter immensely.
    — Anne Else

    I just wanted to say how much I will miss The Jobs Letter, it was always informative, thought provoking, unbiased, and a great read. I think that Aotearoa will be the lesser for its passing as there is no other publication that comes close to keeping those working in the employment sector up to date with what is happening in our world. A big thank you to the Jobs Letter team, we do owe you heaps for your commitment. — Elaine Gill

    We have been immensely privileged to be provided for on a regular basis, through thick and thin and for no cost, the magnificent publication called The Jobs Letter. It has informed, advised, connected, challenged and inspired us in a variety of ways that have sparked innumerable acts of good and it mostly never received credit for. Nothing can replace it nor should. Thanks vivian, Dave and Sue and many others I don’t know of who have consistently made the daily bread and to Rodger and Jo who joined them as Trustees to provide wise and humble voluntary guidance to this unique phenomenon.
    — Trevor Gray

    I hope you’re all feeling good about your efforts over the last 12 years. Congratulations from an irregular but appreciative reader.
    — Nicky Hager

    What I hope is that we don’t have to re-learn all these lessons again in 12 years.
    — Darel Hall

    Kia ora to The Jobs Letter Team! 12 years ago seems like yesterday. I can clearly remember, like Employment Matters, when The Jobs Letter was produced.
    With its challenges on government policy, businesses and the wider community, information and detail has always been forthright and up to date.
    Along with the 12 years of The Jobs Letter production, many great community development initiatives and organisations like CEGs and CEDU have moved on. I recognise the people and teams within The Jobs Letter and their effort over the years.
    As somebody who has come from community development, along with many present day leaders who are now in a variety of forums, I certainly want to recognise The Jobs Letter Team and say ‘a job well done’! Heio ano
    — Parekura Horomia

    As for The Jobs Letter – this has been a national icon for a number of years, always well researched, always timely and always relevant. Much of this success is clearly the result of the calibre and resilience of the editorial board. It always has appeared to be politically impartial. That it is not planned to continue will be a great loss. While it would be a very difficult act to follow – the process and standards have been long set. I earnestly hope that some agency/group will pick up the reins. In the interim – rest well in your big shoes. You have done exceedingly well for far longer than anyone could have hoped for.
    — Gordon Hudson

    The Jobs Letter will be greatly missed.
    — Judy McGregor

    In 2000, The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs signed a memorandum of understanding with The Jobs Research Trust, the first partnership negotiated by the Taskforce. Over the last five years The Jobs Letter has provided Mayors with up to date, succinct information on work and livelihood which we have been able to use in our work on youth employment. The resource has been invaluable and has given us an insight into the many issues facing our communities. We have been very pleased be a part of this community project which has given all of us information not always readily available in the mainstream media, and we acknowledge the work of The Jobs Letter in supporting the aims and goals of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.
    — Paul Matheson

    When I learned The Jobs Letter was putting together its final issue, I was very disappointed and immediately wondered who else could provide as good a service in this field. When I began researching, The Jobs Letter was a marvellous discovery. The well-presented up-to-date stats (which Statistics New Zealand don’t make highly accessible), the news round-up, book reviews and the generally unbiased tone has made this publication one I look forward to receiving. It will be missed. Thank you for the work you have done
    — Lindsay Mitchell

    Finally I would like to congratulate vivian Hutchinson and The Jobs Letter team for consistently providing a one stop shop for what’s hot and what’s not on the employment/unemployment frontier for 12 long years — a remarkable achievement.
    — Sandi Morrison

    Thank you to the Jobs Research Trust for all your work over the years. You have created a really useful tool and information resource and I wish you all the best with your next project.
    — Russel Norman

    Outside the appropriate academic circles, commentary on socioeconomic relations in terms of the enduring dynamic between ‘labour and capital’ is no longer taken very seriously. Yet I cannot rid myself of the view that most, if not all, of the socioeconomic concerns we have at multiple levels of community, nation and globe, can be understood in terms of how we mismanage such relationships. That of labour and capital remains one of those central to our current socioeconomic structures. The Jobs Research Trust has, and continues, to provide important witness to how that relationship not only remains so central but continues to struggle to achieve a semblance of equitable justice — and has extended that role to also being an extra-ordinary clearing-house of employment-related information (widely interpreted, thank goodness!). Thank guys, for having what it took to make it happen.
    — Greg Pirie

    The Jobs Letter has been a great source of current information for people working in this sector. I work as a consultant in an isolated work environment and The Jobs Letter has been really helpful for me to stay in touch with trends and have access to statistics presented in a useful and easily understood format. I hope The Jobs Letter will be resurrected in some other form! Congratulations on what you have achieved and good luck for the future!
    — Brigid Ryan

    The Jobs Letter has been a wonderful resource and will be sorely missed.
    — Susan St John

    Having experienced the energy emanating from 12 years and 253 issues I know that the closure of The Jobs Letter is only the end of a chapter. You held out this light through years of devastating restructuring, keeping hopes alive. Your new horizons will develop creative new ways to follow. We have learned to hold you in great respect and look forward to your new fields of leadership.
    — Ron Sharp

    The Jobs Letter has been our inspiration at Work & Age Trust. Those wonderful Hutchinson think pieces have lifted our spirits at times when all around (the policy shop) is bleak. Vivian has introduced us to new world thinkers — the Jeremy Rifkins, the Paul Hawkens etc. who have taken us in new directions. The facts and figures have always been presented ‘au natural’ without that all to familiar spin from other sources. WE WILL MISS THE JOBS LETTERS HEAPS.
    It was during my Churchill Fellowship through North America in 2001 that the international effects of The Jobs Letters and Vivian were highlighted for me. When introducing myself as a kiwi in many meetings, conferences etc the common question was do you known Vivian Hutchinson — that famous kiwi and leader in the field of employment. They often saw The Jobs Letter as part of some big institution — little did they know (till I told them) that it operated from a kitchen table in the Naki.
    Ka kite ano my friends
    — Roger Tweedy

    Heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in producing with The Jobs Letter for their invaluable work over the past 12 years and best wishes to all in their future projects.
    — Janfrie Wakim

    Many people in the union movement have appreciated and contributed to the work of The Jobs Letter. It has been an excellent resource for people involved in employment, poverty and welfare campaigning and community economic development, and its regular contributions to these areas will be missed.
    — Ross Wilson

    We will miss this resource, and wish those involved all the best in the future.
    — Donna Wynd

    The Jobs Letter

    — Essential Information and Media Watch on Jobs, Employment, Unemployment, the Future of Work, and related Education and Economic issues.

    Published every 2-3 weeks in New Zealand.

    Freely available
    on this website thanks to the support of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

    About the Letter

    About PDF files

    Dave Owens
    vivian Hutchinson

    Vivian Hutchinson

    Peace Media Award

    ISSN No. 1172-6695

    The Jobs Letter
    P.O.Box 428
    New Plymouth
    New Zealand

    phone 06-753-4434
    fax 06-753-4430

    The Jobs Research Trust — a not-for-profit charitable trust constituted in 1994.
    We are funded by sustaining grants and donations. Yes, you can help.