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

Labour announces unemployment policy

30 Jul 2014 Politics
Labour’s intention to increase the minimum wage to two-thirds of the average wage would hurt business, cost jobs and reduce ... more

MOU signed to improve agency cooperation

30 Jul 2014 News
Police Minister Anne Tolley and Commerce Minister Craig Foss today welcomed an updated memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the... more

Business

Border system reaches further milestone

28 Jul 2014 Business News
Customs Minister Nicky Wagner today welcomed the Joint Border Management System reaching another milestone. More than 50 per cent ... more

Auckland Airport cuts fine deal in US$250M bond issue

25 Jul 2014 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   Auckland Airport cuts fine deal in US$250M bond issue By Paul McBeth Jul. 25 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland... more

Living

Cliff Curtis’ Startling Confession in Mana Magazine

28 Jul 2014 Lifestyle
The new-look Mana magazine includes a story on Hollywood star and Rotorua local, Cliff Curtis. The famously versatile actor talks... more

NZ Film 'The Dead Lands' to Have Toronto World Premiere

23 Jul 2014 Entertainment
New Zealand Film Commission New Zealand Film 'The Dead Lands' to Have Toronto World Premiere Maori action epic The Dead Lands will... more

Property

NZ house sales fall in June, led by cheaper properties

14 Jul 2014 Property By Suze Metherell
July 14 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand house sales fell in June from a year earlier, led by properties of $400,000 or less, indicating... more

Average Auckland house prices reach record level

10 Jul 2014 Property
The average asking price for a home in Auckland has reached the record level of 732 thousand, 240 dollars. The figure is provided by... more

Migration

UK Tier 1 visa extension deadline looming

11 Jul 2014 Migration
If you’re in the UK on a Tier 1 (General) visa, you’ll need to apply for an extension as soon as possible. The deadline... more

NZ more appealing to ex-pats - survey

10 Jul 2014 Migration
Auckland and Wellington have become more appealing to ex-pats in the past 12 months, a new survey has found. Both cities both dropped... more

Travel

NZ leaves lasting impression on English Premier League teams

29 Jul 2014 Travel & Tourism
27 Jul 2014 West Ham United may have endured a torrid time on the pitch during their time in New Zealand for the Football United... more

Cycleways bring economic benefit to communities

24 Jul 2014 Travel & Tourism
An increasing number of cycleways are attracting tourists to regions and scenic parts of New Zealand and a special session at the... more

Sport

2014 GLASGOW: GOLD FOR BOYLE AND PASCOE

30 Jul 2014 Commonwealth Games
Auckland swimmer Lauren Boyle bounced back from last night’s disappointment to win the women’s 400m freestyle gold medal... more

2014 GLASGOW: GREAT DAY FOR MOUNTAIN BIKERS

30 Jul 2014 Commonwealth Games
Anton Cooper and Sam Gaze brought cheers from their New Zealand supporters when they won gold and silver in the men’s mountain... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on Gaza and burning the Israeli flag

24 Jul 2014 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily... more

7 highly effective habits to stay healthy at work

23 Jul 2014 Column By Tricia Alach
The holistic helper's guide to wellbeing and work: part eight Like all good reports, my Wellbeing and Work series comes with an... more

Kiwi Success

Hon.Judith Collins announces appointments to Public Trust Board

23 Jul 2014 Appointments
New Zealand Government Appointments to Public Trust Board   Justice Minister Judith Collins today announced the appointment of ... more

NZ Government Minister Foss announces commerce reappointments

23 Jul 2014 Appointments
Commerce Minister Craig Foss today announced four reappointments to various independent Crown entities and statutory... more

Recruitment

200 more training places for graduate nurses

30 Jul 2014 Recruitment
Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced the government will fund up to 200 additional training places for nurse graduates next... more

750 additional Trades Academy places for 2015

14 Jul 2014 Recruitment
New Zealand Government   Hon Steven Joyce Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Hon Hekia Parata Minister of... more