Unemployment rises 0.1 per cent

  • Steven Joyce
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

The latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) has reflected the softening of the economy in the first half of the year, with an increase in unemployment from 5.9 to 6.0 per cent.

Job growth moderated to 34,000 over the past year, with the HLFS indicating employment fell by 0.4 per cent over the last quarter. However the Quarterly Employment Survey recorded filled jobs increasing by 0.7 per cent and hours worked increased by 0.9 per cent in the last quarter.

Faster job growth in the North Island has been offset by a drop in the South Island which has reduced from record highs.

“Wages have continued to grow, up 3.1 per cent this year. This compares with inflation over the same period of 0.4 per cent. The average annual wage is now over $57,300, that’s up more than $10,000 since 2008,” Mr Joyce said.

“Outcomes for young people are positive with 15-24 year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEET) down to 11 per cent, the lowest in 7 years. The figure for 15-19 year-olds has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded,” Mr Joyce says. “It’s particularly positive that this fall is due to more young people moving into education.”

“The New Zealand labour force participation rate is still near record highs and our employment rate is 6th highest in the OECD.”

Other highlights include:

  • 14,700 more construction jobs in the past year in Auckland alone, and 20,500 nationwide
  • 7,900 more manufacturing jobs over the past year
  • More Pacific people in employment – up 7,700 over the past year
  • A decrease in unemployment in Northland and Bay of Plenty

“Indicators point to an upturn in the economy in the next year and we should expect to see further job growth in the year ahead.”