Lower jobless numbers

Unemployment in the district was much lower than national figures suggested and below that of neighbouring regions, an Infometrics study commissioned by the Marlborough District Council shows.

Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman said the Infometrics study of Marlborough's economy put unemployment in this region at 3.9%, less than the 5.2 per cent in last month's Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment study.

The new data has come from research into Marlborough's economic profile, commissioned by the council from independent research and analysis company Infometrics, to provide baseline data for the council's economic development strategy.

The figures are for the year up to March 2012.

The study also indicates that Nelson's unemployment rate is 6.2% with Tasman at 4.2%.

It estimates the West Coast at 4.7%.

Agriculture (including vineyards), forestry and fishing were the largest employers here in 2012, accounting for almost 19% of jobs.

Manufacturing (including winemaking) is the second largest employer at 14.6% of jobs with almost 10% of the Marlborough workforce employed in the retail sector.

Mr Sowman said Marlborough could use the "smart and connected" economic development strategy to encourage a focus on adding value to all areas of the economy, including primary industries, so more high-quality, better paid jobs could be generated.

The Manawatu Standard