A war of words has broken out over job figures which saw an unusually large drop of 0.4 per cent in unemployment.
The latest Household Labour Force Survey shows unemployment fell to 6.9 per cent in the last three months of 2012. Around 163,000 people are without jobs.
Unions suggested that a drop in part-time work could be leading more people to leave the workforce.
FIRST Union general secretary Robert Reid said any economic recovery since the global financial crisis hit had been "jobless".
A fall in part-time work was a particular concern for retail workers, he said.
"Every shop we speak with has workers who are seeking more hours, because their current hours do not provide enough income to live on."
Excerpt from Nelson Mail story - read the full article online here.