Unemployment down to 4.9%

Stats NZ reports:

The unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in the March 2017 quarter (down from 5.2 percent in the previous quarter), while employment continued to grow, Stats NZ said today.

“In the March quarter, 6,000 fewer people were unemployed,” labour market and household statistics senior manager Mark Gordon said. “The unemployment rate for men fell from 4.8 percent to 4.2 percent, making it the lowest rate since the December 2008 quarter. However, the unemployment rate for women was unchanged.”

Unemployed people are those who are available to work, and who had either actively sought work or had a new job to start within the next four weeks.

The number of employed people increased 1.2 percent (29,000 people) in the March 2017 quarter.

Pleasing results. Some key data:

  • 29,000 more people in employment
  • 6,000 fewer unemployed
  • Labour force participation rate rises to 70.6% (was 68.8% a year ago)
  • Unemployment rate drops to 4.9% (OECD average is 6.1%)
  • Manufacturing jobs at 259,200 up 19,000 in the quarter
  • Total hours worked up 4.3% from a year ago

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