NZ annual jobs growth ‘broadly positive’, jobless rate falls   9 Feb 2012

Paul McBeth

New Zealand’s annual jobs growth shows the economy is moving in the right direction, with the unemployment rate falling to a 21-month low on a sharp rise in the number of part-time workers.

The unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 6.3 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31, from 6.6 percent the prior quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand’s household labour force survey. That’s more than the 6.5 percent rate picked in a Reuters survey of economists, and was bolstered by a 3 percent rise in part-timers to 517,000 and a 0.2 percentage point decline in the participation rate to a 12-month low 68.2 percent.

The number of people employed rose 0.1 percent to 2.221 million in the December quarter, missing the 0.4 percent growth forecast in the Reuters survey, and has grown 1.6 percent on an annual basis.

“The trend is broadly positive, and suggests the economy is pushing forward,” said Bank of New Zealand economist Doug Steel. “It gives us some confidence this trend will continue.”

The falling headline jobless rate masked a 0.8 percent decline in full-time workers to 1.703 million, the lowest number since December 2010, and a 1.4 percent fall in the total weekly hours worked to 74.3 million. The number of people not in the labour force rose to 1.107 million in the quarter from 1.095 million in the September period.

BNZ’s Steel said the quarterly movements in the underlying data were within the error of margin.

The data follows Tuesday’s quarterly employment survey, which showed 0.6 percent growth in full-time equivalent (FTE) positions to 1.34 million, and a 0.5 percent rise in total filled jobs to 1.7 million.

Last month, the Westpac-McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index showed the number of people pessimistic about the labour market outnumbered optimists for the first time since June 2009, though business confidence surveys show firms are more upbeat about their hiring intentions in the coming year.

Retail trade and accommodation staff numbers rose to 335,500 in the quarter from 324,900 the prior period, while manufacturing jobs increased to 256,000 from 244,700.

Statistics New Zealand introduced a new series for youth aged 15 to 24 not in employment, education or training (NEET), which rose 0.7 percentage points to 13.1 percent in the December quarter. As a comparison, the NEET rate was between 10.2 percent and 12 percent from March 2004 and December 2008, peaking at 15.4 percent in December 2009.

Youth joblessness improved for 20- to 24-year-olds, with the unemployment rate falling to 11.9 percent from 12.2 percent, though the 15- to 19-year-old jobless rate rose to 24.2 percent from 23.4 percent.

The Taranaki region showed a marked improvement in employment, with the jobless rate falling to 3.8 percent, the lowest in the country, form 5.2 percent in the September quarter. Wellington unemployment rose to 7.2percent in the December period from 6 percent. The Bay of Plenty and Northland regions had the worst rate at 8.3 percent.

New Zealand’s unemployment rate was 12th lowest among developed economies, behind Israel’s 5.6 percent but ahead of the Czech Republic’s 6.7 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Customs makes record drug seizures

1 Mar 2017 News
28 Feb 2017 Customs Minister Nicky Wagner is today congratulating Customs on a record number of drug seizures in 2016. “Customs... more

Victoria Square restoration underway

1 Mar 2017 Canterbury Earthquake
28 February 2017 The restoration of earthquake-damaged Victoria Square is now underway, Associate Minister supporting Greater... more

Business

Positive step forward for pay equity

1 Mar 2017 Business News
28 Feb 2017 State Services Minister Paula Bennett has welcomed an agreement with unions which will see the Government’s new pay... more

New Zealand companies impress at Dubai tradeshow

1 Mar 2017 Business News
1 March 2017 Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has attended the world’s largest food tradeshow in Dubai today, as... more

Living

3rd Position, Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series

21 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
Emirates Team New Zealand EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND CLOSES IN 3rd POSITION THE LOUIS VUITTON AMERICA’S CUP WORLD SERIES more

Arts Foundation Award recipients for 2016

14 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
The Arts Foundation Next generation of internationally acclaimed talent among the Arts Foundation Award recipients for 2016Under ... more

Property

NZ house prices gain 11% in October

14 Nov 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 14 November 2016 10:28 AM NZ house prices gain 11% in October, driven by sales of higher value homes By... more

RBNZ sees pressures building in Auckland construction sector

11 Nov 2016 Property By Paul McBeth
Article - BusinessDesk Thursday 10 November 2016 04:04 PM RBNZ sees pressures building in Auckland construction sector By Paul ... more

Migration

Recognised Seasonal Employers employ more Kiwis

8 Feb 2017 Migration
7 Feb 2017 Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes a report showing the vast majority of employers who take on seasonal... more

Good progress on investment attraction strategy

8 Dec 2016 Migration
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed news that New Zealand is attracting a higher level of quality international... more

Travel

Weirdest things visitors Google before coming

6 Feb 2017 NZ Tourism
8 Feb 2017 Does New Zealand celebrate halloween?  Is Auckland a dangerous town- these are some of the subjects visitors Google... more

New campaign to get more Aussies to Northland

30 Jan 2017 Travel & Tourism
30 January 2017 A new marketing campaign starting this week to attract Australians to Northland is an excellent approach to... more

Sport

VALE: Tania Dalton 1971-2017

1 Mar 2017 Netball
VALE: Tania Dalton 1971-2017 March 1, 2017   The Netball community is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Silver Fern... more

Silver Ferns wrap up Quad Series with big win

6 Feb 2017 Netball
6 Feb 2017 The Silver Ferns finished runners-up in the Netball Quad Series after completing a well-crafted 70-39 win over the SPAR... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome more

Kiwi Success

Spencer to be Acting Governor of Reserve Bank

8 Feb 2017 Appointments
7 Feb 2017 Finance Minister Steven Joyce will appoint current Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Grant Spencer as the Acting Governor of... more

Temporary Chairs appointed to Canterbury and South Canterbury DHB

1 Feb 2017 Appointments
30 January 2017 Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today appointed temporary Chairs to the boards of Canterbury and South... more

Recruitment

New employment resource for young people

1 Mar 2017 Recruitment
28 Feb 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Education Minister Louise Upston have... more

Record number of people in employment

1 Feb 2017 Recruitment
1 Feb 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the record number of New Zealanders now in... more

s