Unemployment at eight year low

Stats NZ reports:

The unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in the September 2016 quarter (from a revised 5.0 percent in the previous quarter), Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the lowest unemployment rate since the December 2008 quarter. There were 3,000 fewer people unemployed than in the June 2016 quarter and 10,000 fewer over the year.

“The number of people employed in New Zealand was up 35,000, or 1.4 percent, in the September 2016 quarter,” labour and income statistics manager Mark Gordon said. “This strong growth in employment, coupled with fewer unemployed people, pushed the unemployment rate below 5.0 percent for the first time in nearly eight years.”

The working-age population increased by 24,000 people (0.7 percent) over the quarter, to reach 3,739,000.

Changes in the last year are:

  • 144,000 more jobs (6.1% increase)
  • 106,000 more FT jobs and 39,000 more PT jobs
  • 9,000 fewer unemployed
  • 34,000 fewer not in labour force
  • Labour force participation rate up from 68.4% to 70.1%
  • Unemployment rate drops from 5.5% to 4.9%
  • Number of hours worked up 6.7%
  • Underutilisation rate down from 13.2% to 12.2%

Also average weekly earnings up are 1.8% to $1,146 a week from $1,124. With 0.2% inflation this is a 1.6% real increase.

The average hourly earnings are also up 1.8% from $29.31 to $29.84. Female earnings up 2.0% and male earnings 1.7%.

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