5 May 2009

Dump initiatives aimed at protecting jobs - NZIER

7:54 pm on 5 May 2009

The nine-day fortnight and other initiatives aimed at limiting the effects of the economic downturn are ineffective, a new report published on Tuesday suggests.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research document, which predicts the loss of another 50,000 jobs over the next year, says efforts to save jobs should focus on training instead of job subsidies.

The NZIER report contains gloomy predictions for the next year, and says the number of people out of work will be higher than that of the last recession in 1998.

It is critical of the nine-day fortnight and temporary supports for people who have been made redundant, and says such initiatives will have little impact.

NZIER's chief executive Jean-Pierre de Raad told Checkpoint on Tuesday that the scheme can only reach about half the workforce, and it would be more cost effective to invest in helping people find jobs.

The report says many of the extra unemployed will be new entrants to the job market or people working for small firms, and recent job-saving initiatives will do little for them.

Instead, the report recommends promoting business investment and training programmes targeted to meet the needs of the job market.