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

15,000 fewer people dependent on benefits

17 Apr 2014 News
New Zealand Government 15,000 fewer people dependent on benefits Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the latest benefit ... more

Govt to establish Food Safety Science & Research Centre

16 Apr 2014 News
  Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye today announced that expressions of interest... more

Business

Air NZ says claims withdrawn as other airlines settle in Oz

17 Apr 2014 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   Air New Zealand says claims withdrawn as other airlines settle over cargo cartel, seeks costs April 17 ... more

Genesis Energy soars on debut, other gen-taliers rise

17 Apr 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
  Genesis Energy soars on debut, leading fellow energy companies higher April 17 (BusinessDesk) – Shares in the partially... more

Living

The Taite Music Prize: IMNZ announces this years winner

17 Apr 2014 Entertainment
The winner of the fourth annual Taite Music Prize 2013 is Lorde for her album ‘Pure Heroine’ released on Universal Music... more

3 Mile Limit Movie Continues to Win Awards in the U.S

15 Apr 2014 Lifestyle
New Zealand movie ‘3 Mile Limit’ has won Best Feature Film at both the North Hollywood and Charleston International Film... more

Property

NZ house values rise at slowest annual pace in 6 months in March, QV says

7 Apr 2014 Property
April 7 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand property values increased at the slowest annual pace in six months in March as lower... more

Auckland landlords lead in capital gains

28 Mar 2014 Property
Three-bedroom houses in Glen Innes giving an annual capital gain of 18.9%, followed by New Windsor. Auckland landlords are making... more

Migration

New working holiday agreement between New Zealand and Croatia launched

28 Mar 2014 Migration
Citizens of Croatia aged between 18 and 30 will soon be eligible to apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, giving them the... more

New Zealand immigration hits ten year high

28 Mar 2014 Migration
New statistics have shown net migration to New Zealand to be at a 10 year high, with China becoming the largest source of new... more

Travel

Chinese company to build $200M hotel on Auckland waterfront

16 Apr 2014 Travel & Tourism By Suze Metherell
  Company linked to one of China’s richest women to spend $200 mln on Auckland hotel April 16 (BusinessDesk) – Fu... more

SmartGate opens to arriving UK & US travellers

3 Apr 2014 Travel & Tourism
Customs Minister Maurice Williamson today announced SmartGate is now open to United Kingdom and American travellers on arrival. The... more

Sport

Dan Carter: All Blacks's goal is back-to-back World Cups

17 Apr 2014 Rugby By Oliver Brown
New Zealand No 10 is loving his sabbatical, including a trip to the Masters, however his only motive is to return fit and fresh for... more

Seeds March to Quarters at Skycity NZ Badminton Open

17 Apr 2014 Sport
TOP SEEDS CONTINUE MARCH TO QUARTER FINALS AT SKYCITY NZ BADMINTON OPEN Top seeds dominated in this morning’s 3rd round... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell: drone strikes & Judith Collins‘ last stand

17 Apr 2014 Opinion
Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as "bug splat” - mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their... more

Gordon Campbell on the life & ACC work of Sir Owen Woodhouse

16 Apr 2014 Opinion
With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the... more

Kiwi Success

BNZ names Anthony Healy as new CEO, replacing Thorburn

17 Apr 2014 Appointments
April 17 (BusinessDesk) – Bank of New Zealand, the local unit of Australia’s third-biggest mortgage lender, named the... more

Kiwi alpinist is finalist for prestigious award

26 Mar 2014 People
NZ Alpine Club Kiwi alpinist is finalist for prestigious mountaineering award New Zealand Alpine Club President John Cocks has today... more

Recruitment

Growth seen further lifting average wage by $7,500

15 Apr 2014 Recruitment
  The average annual wage is expected to increase by $7,500 to around $62,200 a year by 2018 if New Zealand achieves its ... more

NZ employment confidence lifts in 1st-qtr

31 Mar 2014 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ employment confidence lifts in 1st-qtr, current job opportunities seen less negative March 31 ... more