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Unemployment Rate at 6.1 Per Cent

Household Labour Force Survey: June 2000 quarter

The June 2000 quarter seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.1 per cent according to Statistics New Zealand's Household Labour Force Survey, the official measure of unemployment. This compares with 6.4 per cent in the previous March quarter and 7.0 per cent in the June 1999 quarter.

Between the March and June 2000 quarters, the number of unemployed dropped by 6,000 (5.0 per cent) and the number of employed dropped by 4,000 (0.2 per cent). Over the same period the numbers of people not in the labour force increased by 15,000 (1.5 per cent). These contrasting movements resulted in an improvement in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate over the quarter, while the labour force participation rate dropped to 64.8 per cent, the lowest level since June 1995. The drop in the level of employment is the second quarterly drop in employment levels after five consecutive quarters of growth.

Compared with a year ago labour market conditions for the June 2000 quarter have shown an improvement. Employment has grown by 17,000 (with full-time employment up 28,000), unemployment has dropped by 16,000, and the unemployment rate has fallen 0.9 percentage points.

Between the June 1999 and June 2000 quarter the number of Mäori employed
increased by 25,000 while the number of unemployed decreased by 6,000. These movements resulted in the Mäori unemployment rate falling by 5.2 percentage points to a level of 13.0 per cent from 18.2 per cent a year ago. This is the lowest level since June 1988 when it was recorded at 12.1 per cent.

In the June 2000 quarter the unadjusted unemployment rates stood at 4.7 per cent for European/Pakeha, 13.0 per cent for Mäori, 10.8 per cent for Pacific People and 11.6 per cent for the 'Other' ethnic group.

In the period from June 1999 to June 2000 the number of people employed in the Waikato region increased by 14,900, along with a 3,500 drop in the number of people unemployed for this period. These two effects combined have decreased Waikato's unemployment rate by 2.5 percentage points to 5.6 per cent. Over the same period the number of people unemployed in the Northland region has decreased by 2,200. This has been a contributing factor to the decrease in the unemployment rate of 4.3 percentage points for this region.

The highest unadjusted unemployment rates in the June 2000 quarter were recorded in Northland (8.8 per cent), Bay of Plenty (8.6 per cent) and Taranaki (8.0 per cent). The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in Southland at 4.6 per cent.

Dianne Macaskill



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