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Unemployment Rate At 5.2 Per Cent

Household Labour Force Survey: June 2001 Quarter

The June 2001 quarter seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent, according to Statistics New Zealand's Household Labour Force Survey, the official measure of unemployment. The last time it was below 5.2 per cent was March 1988 when it was 4.8 per cent. The unemployment rate reached a peak of 10.9 per cent in September 1991.

Labour market conditions improved slightly between the March 2001 and the June 2001 quarters, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.2 per cent. Seasonally adjusted figures show the level of employment increased in the June quarter by 16,000 (0.9 per cent) to an estimated level of 1,820,000. Unemployment levels have continued to decline, down 3,000 (2.9 per cent) in the latest quarter to 100,000. Those not in the labour force decreased by 7,000 (0.7 per cent) to 993,000 and the labour force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 65.9 per cent.

Labour market conditions continued to improve during the year. From the June 2000 quarter, seasonally adjusted figures show unemployment dropped by 14,000 (12.3 per cent). Employment grew by 57,000 (3.2 per cent), with the level of full-time employment up 46,000 (3.4 per cent). The unemployment rate has fallen 0.9 percentage points and the labour force participation rate has increased by 1.0 percentage point.

All ethnic groups showed declines in their unemployment rates during the year. The unadjusted unemployment rates for the June 2001 quarter were 11.9 percent for Mäori, 9.1 per cent for Pacific Peoples, 8.7 per cent for the 'Other' ethnic group and 4.0 per cent for European/Pakeha.

The lowest unadjusted unemployment rate in the June 2001 quarter was recorded in the Tasman/Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast region (2.5 percent), followed by the Wellington and Southland regions (3.2 percent). The highest unadjusted unemployment rate was recorded in the Bay of Plenty region (7.6 percent), followed by the Northland region (6.6 percent).

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

END


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