Record NZ part-time jobs make up for fall in full-timers   3 May 2012

Paul McBeth

New Zealand's employment growth in the first three months of the year was all in part-time positions, which rose to a record and picked up the slack from a decline in the number of full-time jobs.

The number of part-time positions climbed 2.5 percent to 531,000 in the three months ended March 31, following a 3.2 percent gain in the December quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. On an annual basis, part-time positions rose 5.4 percent

At the same time, full-time jobs fell 0.2 percent in the March quarter to 1.7 million, the lowest level since September 2010, for an annual decline of 0.3 percent. The level of underemployment, which is part-time workers who would like to work more hours, rose by 2,500 to 107,600 people, or 4.5 percent of the labour force wanting more hours. Seasonally adjusted hours worked in the quarter rose 0.1 percent to 73.88 million in the quarter.


"This fall in hours worked has coincided with a decline in full-time employment and a corresponding increase in part-time employment," Jane Turner, economist at ASB, said in a note. "This suggests that activity may be underperforming businesses expectations, and has resulted in reducing staff hours."

The headline figure showed an increase in the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent in the March quarter from a revised 6.4 percent in the prior period, as the number of people looking for work swelled. The participation rate climbed to 68.8 percent from 68.2 percent, beating the 68.3 percent forecast by economists in a Reuters survey.

Felix Delbruck, senior economist at Westpac Banking, said the figures were "unambiguously soft" with the jobless rate well ahead of the Reserve Bank's 6.3 percent forecast.

"It adds to the suite of data that's been lower than what the Reserve Bank expected," Delbruck said. "We're not expecting them to hike rates before March 2013."

Traders have increased their bets that the central bank may yet cut the official cash rate from a record-low 2.5 percent, with 16 basis points of reductions priced in over the coming 12 months, according to the Overnight Index Swap curve.

The one-year swap rate dropped 10 basis points to 2.53 percent, the lowest since Nov. 28, and has shed 22 basis points in the past fortnight.

Westpac's Delbruck said the local jobs market is a "divided picture" with male-dominated industries, such as construction, set to benefit on the back of the Canterbury rebuild. At the same time, there's been a drop-off in female-dominated sectors, such as health and education and retail services.

Unemployment among women was 7.1 percent in the March quarter, the highest rate since December 2009. The last time it was higher was in December 1998. Male unemployment was 6.3 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Dynamic New Zealand writers to feature at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival

20 Jul 2017 Arts
Dynamic New Zealand writers making waves at home and abroad will present their work and participate in this year’s Edinburgh... more

$9.4m to support students with English as a second language

26 Jun 2017 Education
22 June 2017 Students learning English as a second language will benefit from a further $9.4 million being made available under... more

Business

Rocket launch a huge step for New Zealand’s space industry

25 May 2017 Business News
25 May 2017 Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges has congratulated the team at Rocket Lab on the successful launch of... more

Increased investor confidence welcomed

29 May 2017 Business News
29 May 2017 Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today welcomed the Financial Markets Authority annual survey results... more

Living

NZ's Sola Rosa heading "Back to You" in London - interview with Andrew Spraggon

6 Jul 2017 Entertainment By Charlotte Everett
Sola Rosa Soundsystem heads back to London with a show on 27 July – NZNewsUK London Editor Charlotte Everett caught up with... more

Spirit of “Mateship” prominent at London ANZAC commemorations

25 Apr 2017 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
All photos copyright Peter Livingstone Photography. Lead image: HRH The Duke of York (far right), with the Hon Alexander Downer (far... more

Property

New Zealand Housing Affordability Measure released

10 May 2017 Property
10 May 2017 The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) new Housing Affordability Measure will allow the market... more

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

Migration

Suspension of decision making authority

25 Apr 2017 Migration
24 April 2017Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse is taking steps to improve Immigration New Zealand’s decision making... more

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

Travel

International visitors projected to spend $15 billion

12 May 2017 Travel & Tourism
12 May 2017 New Zealand’s tourism sector is forecast to grow significantly over the next seven years, with international... more

Tourism spending continues rise in 2017

10 May 2017 Travel & Tourism
27 April 2017 Tourism spending by both international and domestic visitors continues to grow strongly in 2017, Acting Tourism Minister... more

Sport

SPECIAL LIMITED OFFER: Barbarians v NZ, Twickenham 4 Nov - £55 tickets, All Blacks Supporters Bay

20 Jul 2017 Rugby
In 2009 the Barbarian team had a phenomenal line up of world class players; Matt Giteau, Victor Matfield, George Smith, Jamie Roberts,... 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

Law Commissioner appointed

29 May 2017 Appointments
29 May 2017 Former Secretary for Justice Belinda Clark has been appointed as Law Commissioner, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced... more

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

Recruitment

Online job ads continue growing strongly

26 Jun 2017 Recruitment
23 June 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith says the latest Jobs Online report shows strong growth... more

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

s