NZ unemployment rate rises to 4.5%

By Leith van Onselen

Statistics New Zealand has released its labour force data for the June quarter, with the unemployment rate rising by 0.1% to 4.5%.

Below are the key points from the release:

  • Unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent.
  • Underutilisation rate rose to 12.0 percent.
  • Employment rate was unchanged at 67.7 percent.
  • Filled jobs rose 0.8 percent.
  • Average ordinary time hourly earnings increased to $31.00.
  • Annual wage inflation increased 1.9 percent.

And below are the summary tables:

As shown above, employment rose by 0.5% in the June quarter to be up 3.7% over the year, whereas the labour force participation rate rose by 0.1% to 70.9% (up 0.8% over the year).

Trend jobs growth has been strong, but has faded more recently:

However, total weekly hours worked also rose by 5.4% in the year to June.

The news with respect to employee earnings was less positive:

While wages grew by a weak o.5% in the June quarter and by 1.9% year-on-year, this was boosted by a legislated increase in the minimum wage. Like in Australia, NZ wages growth is very weak.

However, average ordinary time hourly earnings did rise by a stronger 3.0% over the year.

Finally, here’s how New Zealand’s unemployment rate (4.5%) compares against Australia’s (5.4%):

NZ’s labour market is still much stronger.

[email protected]

Comments are hidden for Membership Subscribers only.