Provinces hurt by unemployment

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 08/02/2013

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The unemployment rate has risen to an estimated 8.5 per cent in the Manawatu/Whanganui region.

Statistics NZ yesterday released the unemployment figures for the December 2012 quarter in its latest Household Labour Force Survey.

Nationally, unemployment improved to 6.9 per cent, from 7.3 per cent in the September quarter.

But in the Manawatu/Whanganui region, the 8.5 per cent figure was a slight increase from the 8.4 per cent recorded in the September quarter, and well up on the 6.2 per cent recorded for December 2011.

Statistics NZ's definition of Manawatu/Whanganui groups Palmerston North City with the Horowhenua, Tararua, Manawatu, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu districts.

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway said this broad grouping made it difficult to know what was happening in each area.

However it was clear the provinces were hurting. "It reflects just how difficult things are in provincial New Zealand at the moment," Mr Lees-Galloway said. The Government's investment in infrastructure was predominantly focused on metropolitan areas, he said.

Looking around the country, Otago had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.3 per cent, with Southland at 4.6 per cent and Canterbury at 4.9 per cent. Northland had the highest rate at 9.5 per cent.

Auckland's unemployment rate improved to 7.2 per cent, while Wellington's rose to 7.9 per cent.

The Manawatu/Whanganui unemployment rate had a margin of error of 2.2 per cent. Dive hits women hard P15

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- Manawatu Standard

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