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May 20, 2013 | by  | in News |
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The Force Is Strong in This One

Young people are either finding work or flocking to study, according to recent figures showing an improvement in the youth labour market.

The release of the latest Household Labour Force Survey by Statistics New Zealand shows the unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds dropped by 4.1 per cent to 10.9 per cent from December 2012 to the March 2013. This is the lowest rate since September 2009.

The survey also shows that 8800 more 20- to 24-year-olds have entered study, and that 11,200 more student-age New Zealanders found employment in the year to March.

Statistics New Zealand’s industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay suggested the overall improvement in labour market conditions experienced was different to previous years.

“We usually see actual unemployment rise in March quarters as a result of seasonal factors, such as students entering the job market. We didn’t see this happen this quarter,” Ramsay said.

The positive trends have not reached students, with VUWSA Vice-President (Welfare) Simon Tapp reporting “unprecedented hardship”.

“The Hardship Committee has given out nearly $20,000 more in the first few months of the year than it did for the same time last year, VUWSA’s Free Bread service is attracting queues before it even opens,” said Tapp.

Students spoken to by Salient still felt it was difficult to find work at all, let alone work with flexible hours. One third-year Film student would like to work, but felt VUWSA and the University should be doing more to assist individuals who were struggling to find jobs.

“You are competing with so many students in the same situation… one of the biggest problems is finding a job that works around University.

“Some of us aren’t eligible for allowances and would rather work part-time than add more money to our mounting student loan,” she said.

The survey also showed a rise in the national employment rate from 62.7 per cent in the December 2012 quarter to 63.7 per cent in the March 2013 quarter.

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