There were some curious aspects to yesterday’s Household Labour Force Survey statistics. Key findings were:
- Total employment up 20,000 being 12,000 men and 8,000 women
- Total unemployment up 11,000 being 3,000 men and 6,000 women (is rounded)
- Total labour force up 31,000 being 16,000 more men and 15,000 more women.
- So around equal numbers of men and women have entered the labour force, but more men have found jobs, hence male unemployment rises only 0.2% and female unemployment 0.6%
- Number of weekly hours worked dropped 1,390,000 – equal to 35,000 FTEs
- Underemployment (those employed but wanting more hours) rose from 81,000 to 97,000
- NZ’s unemployment rate of 4.6% is 10th= in OECD of 27. In 2005 we were 1st.
The trend towards more people working less hours is good, in terms of spreading the pain around. And also good more people seeking work. But the drop off in hours worked is scary – equal to 35,000 less people in work – in just one quarter.