Unemployment falls to 4.9 per cent

  • Paul Goldsmith
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

The latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) shows the economy continues to deliver for New Zealanders says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith.

“The unemployment rate is again at 4.9 per cent in the March 2017 quarter,” says Mr Goldsmith.

“We have 29,000 more Kiwis employed in the past three months as job growth continues to be faster than population growth.”

Record labour force participation continues with the rate increasing again to 70.6 per cent.

Job growth continues to be strong with 137,000 new jobs created in the past 12 months. Wages also grew by 2.1 per cent over the year, taking the average annual wage to $58,935.

“We are also seeing continued growth in the construction sector with 16,100 more jobs compared to this time last year. Waikato had a significant increase with 3,600 additional construction jobs.”

Other highlights this quarter include:

  • New Zealand ranked second in the OECD for employment rate (15+);
  • The employment rate for Māori increased by 1.7 per cent;
  • The rate of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) fell to 12.8 per cent, down from 13.5 per cent in the previous quarter.

“Today’s release shows the Government’s comprehensive economic plan is working for families, with lower unemployment, strong job creation and higher wages to help people get ahead,” says Mr Goldsmith.