The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 1889. THE LABOR MARKET.
There are very reassuring indications that if the supply of labor were distributed over the colony according to the demand there is work for all, and at wages that are 4 considerable improvement upon those paid a year or two ago. In all parts of the North Island labor is so scarce that bash-falling, clearing, and similar work has to remain undone for want of men to do it, while the rates at which contracts have been lately let are twenty-five per cent higher daring the last few months. In this county there is no lack of employment for farm workers, and contractors are obtaining more payable prices for their work than they were able to get last season. The unemployed cry m Christchurch seems have' been not a very urgent one and the decision of Government to throw upon the Charitable Aid Board the onus of dealing with the old and feeble among the unemployed, while the ablebodied were given work m the country at wages sufficient to " provide themselves with necessaries, has apparently caused the question to solve itself for the present. The "exodus" to Australia, however, still goes on, but it is open to doubt whether the majority of those who are now leaving our shores are not availing themselves of the present nominal rates of paFgage money fra take a holday ia Australia rather than going m search of work which they cannot get here. Artisans certainly have not had a superabundance of employment during the last three or four years. The building trade has been at almost a standstill, and painters, coach-builders, jewellers, and other trades whose work m a measure depends upon the money whilst the community is able to spend upon what may be termed luxuries have had very intermittent — cnxpiojmonf^ There is good reason to hope that even m the latter branches of industry the depression has vanished, and that there will soon be constant and remunerative work for all. The mining industry appears to be reviving everywhere. Fresh discoveries are almost daily reported from the auriferous districts, and as public confidence m mmmg — which it must be admitted has rudely shaken— is vei%- red, a great demand for labor will arise.. What are called Local Industries are gradually reaching a sounder basis, and as New Zealand is fast taking its place among the countries exporting manufactured goods these industries must expand. More and more land is being brought under cultivation year by year, and will afford employment for the rising farming population. We hope to hear no more of the exodus. Work ;s plentiful m Australia during the Spring months, and there may be no influx to New Zealand for some time, but a country with such manifold nd vantages as we possess may be|depended upon to attract and retain a good class of working men m any but the most abnormally bad times.