Māori unemployment on the rise amidst Covid-19 lockdown

By Te Ao - Māori News

New Zealand's economy continues to take a hit as the country is forced back into lockdown. 

Coupled with recent figures showing Māori unemployment is rising, has raised questions about the equality of our economic system, and whether Māori will suffer the brunt of this latest development. 

Economist and Co-Director of Te Au Rangahau at Massey University, Matthew Roskruge, said he was shocked when he saw the recent New Zealand statistics showed Pākehā unemployment was falling but Māori unemployment was doing the complete opposite.

"I think the government has used construction as a way of stimulating the economy. They've invested a lot of money in local and central government in a lot of these big infrastructure projects."

"For Māori, I think the problem is this investment isn't in the regions. This investment into construction is an industry that, typically, Māori are slightly under-represented compared to media or tourism which are really in trouble."

Despite there being more rangatahi going into the workforce, Roskruge highlighted young Māori unemployment rates are going up as well.

"Our youth unemployment rate is, I think, around 10% and lots of those rangatahi are Māori and Pasifika, so that's another part in the mix."