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

McCully visits Iraq ahead of NZ deployment

24 Mar 2015 News
  Foreign Minister Murray McCully travelled to Baghdad yesterday for talks with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mr Haider al-Abadi... more

Trade Minister welcomes signing of NZ-Korea FTA

23 Mar 2015 News
New Zealand Government Trade Minister welcomes signing of NZ-Korea FTA Trade Minister Tim Groser today signed the New Zealand Korea... more

Business

NZ-Korea FTA signed amid spying, lost sovereignty claims

23 Mar 2015 Business News By Pattick Smellie
  NZ-Korea FTA signed amid spying, lost sovereignty claims March 23 (BusinessDesk) - A long-awaited free trade agreement... more

2degrees acquires Snap ISP for complete business offering

23 Mar 2015 Business News By Pattick Smellie
2degrees acquires Snap ISP for complete business offering March 23 (BusinessDesk) - 2Degrees, New Zealand's third-largest mobile... more

Living

2degrees lights up Auckland Harbour Bridge in World First

13 Mar 2015 Lifestyle
Fusing light, music, mobile and one of Auckland’s most recognisable landmarks together – 2degrees launched another Kiwi... more

Third Thursday Set to Groove

9 Mar 2015 Lifestyle
The sounds of legendary jazz musician Charles Mingus is set to raise the beat of Wellington’s waterfront on 19 March, when the... more

Property

NZ house prices rise 3.6% in February

12 Mar 2015 Property By Tina Morrison
  NZ house prices rise 3.6% in February, led by a 14% jump in Auckland prices March 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand residential... more

Revealed: Auckland's cheapest suburbs

9 Mar 2015 Property
Many home buyers face long commute to Auckland jobs as they move to Wellsford, Pokeno and Hamilton. Only six areas of Auckland still... more

Migration

PM plays down claim war criminals are living in NZ

2 Mar 2015 Migration
Prime Minister John Key says he is not aware of any suspected war criminals from the former Yugoslavia in New Zealand. The claim that... more

NZ migration rose to record in 2014

30 Jan 2015 Migration By Tina Morrison
  NZ migration surged to record in 2014, helped by robust economy Jan. 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand migration surged to a... more

Travel

Foss welcomes agreement for rental vehicle code

17 Mar 2015 Travel & Tourism
Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss is welcoming a move by the rental vehicle industry to establish a Code of Best Practice to... more

Productive discussions on Queenstown’s tourism workforce

6 Mar 2015 Travel & Tourism
Sustainable workforce solutions were at the centre of discussions between Government Ministers and tourism industry representatives... more

Sport

ICC World Cup 2015: Semi Final New Zealand beats South Africa by four wickets

24 Mar 2015 Cricket
New Zealand beats South Africa by four wickets. In... more

ICC Cricket World Cup Fever takes hold in New Zealand

24 Mar 2015 Cricket
Ahead of the first semi-final in the land of rugby, all talk is about cover drives and yorkers more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on Pacific spying

24 Mar 2015 Column By Gordon Campbell
  Gordon Campbell on Pacific spying, Obama as Spock and Kendrick Lamar So New Zealand has using the GCSB to spy on its friends ... more

STEPHEN FLEMING: SPIN AND THE FIFTH BOWLER JUST GIVE NEW ZEALAND THE EDGE

23 Mar 2015 Column
Both teams are playing with confidence and one look at the talent on show on either side means it has the potential to be a classic,... more

Kiwi Success

Tower names Seniors Money's Brett Wilson as CFO

18 Mar 2015 Appointments
  Tower names Seniors Money's Brett Wilson as CFO, replacing Boggs March 18 (BusinessDesk) - Tower, the listed general insurer,... more

Kiwi start-up Glassjar launches payments app in the US

6 Mar 2015 People
Glassjar, the kiwi software start-up whose app provides people an easy way of sharing bills, has launched in the United States. The... more

Recruitment

RESEND: 63% of Warehouse permanent staff now on career wage

20 Mar 2015 Recruitment By Fiona Rotherham
  RESEND: Warehouse says 63% of permanent staff now on 'career retailer wage' (Fixes fourth paragraph to show Warehouse is... more

Woodhouse welcomes skilled migrants

12 Mar 2015 Recruitment
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes new figures out today showing an increasing number of skilled migrants coming to ... more