Unemployment rate down to 5.1 per cent

  • Steven Joyce
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show New Zealand’s unemployment rate is now 5.1 per cent.

The Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) shows unemployment in the North Island has decreased to 5.2 per cent, reducing the gap between the North and South Islands.  Auckland’s unemployment rate is 4.7 per cent, the lowest since 2008. There were also significant decreases in Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne, Manawatu/Whanganui and Bay of Plenty.

“The New Zealand economy continues to produce strong job growth,” says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce. “There were 58,000 more people in employment over the last quarter. 327,000 more jobs have now been created in New Zealand since the worst times of the Global Financial Crisis, that’s a 15 per cent overall increase.”

This is the first release under the new HLFS design which brings New Zealand in line with international standards. The new survey has retrospectively adjusted unemployment rates to make them comparable with other countries. In the June quarter New Zealand has the fourth highest rate of employment in the OECD and the fifth highest labour market participation rate.

“A new measure in the revised survey is underutilisation, which measures those who could work more if given the opportunity. New Zealand’s underutilisation rate is 12.8 per cent which is lower than the OECD average of 14.1 per cent. Australia’s is 21.8 per cent.”

Other highlights include:

  • Those not in employment, education or training (NEET) was 10.7 per cent, down 1.7 per cent, the lowest since September 2008
  • There were 8,000 fewer unemployed women over the past year
  • Maori unemployment fell to 11 per cent, down from 12.2 per cent a year ago
  • Pasifika unemployment is 9.1 per cent, down 1 per cent from a year ago

“Since 2008, New Zealanders’ average annual wages are up 25 per cent, more than twice the rate of inflation.

“While the international environment remains challenging this progress in job and wage growth shows that the Government’s macroeconomic settings and the Business Growth Agenda are together delivering positive results for Kiwis and their families.”