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

Business leaders join international cyber security line-up

28 Apr 2016 News
New Zealand Government Hon Amy AdamsMinister for Communications 28 April 2016 More than 200 top business people will join... more

ANZAC 2016: 100th Commemoration

25 Apr 2016 News
The Ode of Rememberance  They went with songs to the battle, they were young.Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.They... more

Business

Landmark EQC settlement

28 Apr 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk Landmark EQC settlement agrees it must repair homes to 'when new' state By Sophie Boot April 28 ... more

US underwear giant Hanes seeks Pacific Brands

28 Apr 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk Thursday 28 April 2016 11:39 AM US underwear giant Hanes seeks Pacific Brands in A$1.1 bln offer By Jonathan ... more

Living

100 Years On – ANZAC Day commemorated where it first started, in London

25 Apr 2016 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
You could be forgiven for assuming that the first ever ANZAC Day was commemorated in Australia or New Zealand. In fact, it was on this... more

Short Film Festival to Celebrate Canterbury

24 Mar 2016 Lifestyle
Canterbury Shorts   24 March 2016 Short Film Festival to Celebrate Canterbury Christchurch – A one-night only Canterbury... more

Property

KiwiSaver home buyer support tweaked

28 Apr 2016 Property
New Zealand Government Hon Dr Nick Smith Minister for Building and Housing 28 April 2016  Changes to KiwiSaver withdrawal rules... more

House-sharing aims to get Aucklanders on property ladder

27 Apr 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk House-sharing offer aims to get Aucklanders on property ladder By Fiona Rotherham April 27 (BusinessDesk) -... more

Migration

Kiwis could be affected by tighter UK rules

30 Mar 2016 Migration By Audrey Young
British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair is defending changes to skilled migrant rules for Britain but suggests they won't affect... more

Immigrants' attitudes to corruption worries SFO

17 Feb 2016 Migration By Sophie Boot
Feb. 17 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's record inbound migration has undermined the country's squeaky-clean reputation because of an... more

Travel

Air New Zealand to revenue share with United in NZ-US routes

11 Mar 2016 Travel & Tourism
Article - BusinessDesk   Air New Zealand to revenue share with United in NZ-US routes By Paul McBeth March 11 (BusinessDesk) -... more

First Dubai - Auckland flights take off

2 Mar 2016 NZ Tourism
New Zealand Government   Hon Simon Bridges Minister of Transport 2 March 2016 First Dubai - Auckland flights take off The start... more

Sport

Sleepless Nights for Ferns Selectors

28 Apr 2016 Rugby League
New Zealand Rugby League Thursday, April 28, 2016Sleepless Nights for Ferns Selectors   Akarana second row Annetta Nuuausala is ... more

NZL takes early lead in three events at Sailing World Cup

28 Apr 2016 Sailing
Yachting New Nealand NZL takes early lead in three events at Sailing World Cup Hyeres The NZL Sailing Team has made a strong start... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on Trump and the Madman Theory

28 Apr 2016 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell on Trump and the Madman Theory Years ago, Richard Nixon explained to his chief adviser Bob Haldeman what has since... more

Gordon Campbell on Kiwirail’s latest stint in the dogbox

27 Apr 2016 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell on Kiwirail’s latest stint in the dogbox The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a ... more

Kiwi Success

University of Otago appoints next Dean of Pharmacy

28 Apr 2016 Appointments
University of Otago University of Otago appoints next Dean of Pharmacy A leading researcher from Canada has been appointed as the... more

Network for Learning board reappointment

27 Apr 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Nikki KayeAssociate Minister of Education 27 April 2016 Media Statement Network for Learning board... more

Recruitment

Zero-hour contracts gone, PPL extended

10 Mar 2016 Recruitment
New Zealand Government Hon Michael Woodhouse Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety 10 March 2016 Zero-hour contracts gone, PPL... more

Scheme helping to staff hard to fill positions

28 Feb 2016 Recruitment
New Zealand Government Scheme helping to staff hard to fill positions Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says an incentive scheme... more