Canterbury unemployment tipped to worsen

8:16 am on 8 July 2011

The Canterbury Business Recovery Network expects unemployment in the region will get worse before it gets better.

Unemployment rates in Canterbury are up 17.88% since the February earthquake, despite the number of people on benefits falling nationwide.

The latest figures show 6342 people are on the unemployment benefit in Canterbury - 962 more than before the quake.

The Business Recovery Network says job opportunities in the region probably won't pick up until the middle of next year.

Chair Matthew Carpenter says rebuilding the region is taking longer than expected and job opportunities probably won't pick up until the middle of next year.

He says more redundancies are likely as businesses go through the traditionally quiet winter period.

But the Hudson Recruitment Agency says the outlook for Canterbury is not quite so grim.

Partner Peter Sherwin says businesses are showing their confidence by indicating they will be investing in research and development, new buildings and new staff.

Business survival rate hailed

The Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce says there has been an extraordinary rate of business survival in Christchurch.

Chief executive Peter Townsend told Morning Report the rate of job losses has been much lower than people anticipated and it could have been a lot worse.

He said businesses have done a great job of retaining staff since the earthquakes.