14 Jul 2011

Unemployment starting to drop in Northland

3:23 pm on 14 July 2011

Work and Income says unemployment figures are starting to drop in Tai Tokerau, as the recession eases.

The region's unemployment rate was nudging double figures with 9.8% of the population on the dole.

In March, 3705 people were listed as unemployed in Northland. And 63% of them were Māori.

The Ministry of Social Development says times have been tough - especially in places like Kaikohe and Kawakawa.

But Northland manager Jan Rata says there are signs of improvement.

Ms Rata says though the actual numbers are small, unemployment has dropped 21% in Kawakawa in the last year, and almost halved for the under 24's.

She says a high percentage of Northland people in subsidised jobs or work schemes are going on to find permanent work in industries like forestry and health care.