Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is being accused of "stooping to a new low" after reading out job ads in Parliament.
Ms Bennett was dealing with Labour Party questions on youth unemployment when she said people could find jobs if they looked for them.
She said the Warehouse Group wanted 300 workers, Brightwater Engineers wanted 40, Mitre 10 was opening a new store and needed 50 and Bunnings Warehouse was looking for 40.
"It's tough out there but there are jobs... people need to be actively looking to be able to take up the opportunities, it's as simple as that," she said.
Labour's social development spokeswoman, Jacinda Ardern, says the minister's response was "just plain nasty".
"To read out a list of supposed job vacancies - thus implying work is freely available if people are looking for it - is a pretty low blow," she said.
"The minister is responsible for more than 50,000 Kiwis on the unemployment benefit and implying they aren't looking hard enough is just insulting."