The government is claiming success for its youth employment strategies.
Employment Minister Steven Joyce says the latest household labour force survey shows an increase of 28,500 - 9.3 per cent - of 15 to 24-year-olds in work over the past year.
Labour made a big issue of youth unemployment when the statistics were released last week, saying the number of unemployed 15 to 19-year-olds had increased by 4000 since National came to office in 2008.
The figures showed unemployment overall dropped to six per cent in the December quarter, down from 6.2 per cent in the previous quarter.
Mr Joyce says the government has invested heavily in education and training to lift the skills and qualifications of young people.