New Zealand Unemployment Rate Falls To 4.8% In Q2

The jobless rate in New Zealand came in at a seasonally adjusted 4.8 percent in the second quarter of 2017, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.

That was in line with expectations and down from 4.9 percent in the previous three months.

Overall employment fell 0.2 on quarter, missing forecasts for a gain of 0.7 percent following the 1.1 percent increase in the three months prior.

On a yearly basis, employment gained 3.1 percent – again missing expectations for 4.1 percent and down from 5.7 percent in Q1.

“In the June 2017 quarter, 3,000 fewer people were unemployed,” labor market and households senior manager Diane Ramsay said. “The unemployment rate for women fell to 4.9 percent, with 10,000 fewer women unemployed – the lowest it’s been since March 2009.”

In contrast, the male unemployment rate rose to 4.7 percent (7,000 more men unemployed).

The participation rate came in at 70.0 percent, shy of expectations for 70.6 percent, which would have been unchanged.

The employment rate fell to 66.7 percent (4,000 fewer people employed) in the second quarter, down from 67.1 percent in Q1. The drop in employment follows six quarters in which employment rose.

New Zealand’s working-age population increased 0.5 percent in the June 2017 quarter (up 20,000 people) to 3,801,000. This is the first quarter since September 2015 that employment growth was below population growth.
Filled jobs (as measured by the Quarterly Employment Survey) increased 3.0 percent (up 56,600 jobs) over the year to the June 2017 quarter. The professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services, and the construction, industries were the two largest contributors to this increase.

Private wages excluding overtime added 0.4 percent on quarter – unchanged but missing forecasts for 0.5 percent.

Labor costs for the private sector also added a quarterly 0.4 percent – unchanged and in line with forecasts.

Average hourly earnings were up 0.8 percent on quarter – shy of expectations for 0.9 percent but up from 0.3 percent in the three months prior.

by RTT Staff Writer

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