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Long-term unemployed now long-term problem

National’s failure to reduce the number of long-term unemployed has become clear with current levels the highest in three years, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Long-term unemployment is a huge problem. The longer you’re out of a job, the harder it is to get one. It is the responsibility of the Government to help break that cycle.

"The Household Labour Force Survey shows there are now 46,000 long-term unemployed. That’s the highest since 2012. The previous high was 16 years ago when Bill English was Finance Minister.

“Long-term unemployment is now a structural problem. With the economy going downhill it will only get worse.

“After seven years National is out of ideas and failing to play its role as a partner in the economy to help create jobs.

“National’s much-touted welfare reforms clearly aren’t delivering. It’s time to focus on breaking the cycle. Long-term unemployment hurts real people and can create a cycle that lasts generations.

“National can’t ignore these ignore people any longer. Plan A is hurting them. It’s time for Plan B,” Grant Robertson said.