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Unemployment Rate Remains At 5.2 Per Cent

Household Labour Force Survey: September 2001 quarter

The September 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. This is the same level as the June 2001 quarter. 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 remained largely unchanged between the June 2001 and the September 2001 quarters, with the unemployment rate steady at 5.2 per cent. Seasonally adjusted figures show the level of employment increased in the September quarter by 6,000 (0.3 per cent) to an estimated amount of 1,825,000. Unemployment levels have continued to decline, down 1,000 (1.0 per cent) in the latest quarter to 100,000. The number of those not in the labour force has increased by 3,000 to 996,000, while the labour force participation rate is unchanged at 65.9 per cent.

Labour market conditions continued to improve during the year. From the September 2000 quarter, seasonally adjusted figures show unemployment dropped by 11,000 (9.9 per cent). Employment grew by 39,000 (2.2 per cent), with the levels of full-time and part-time employment up 20,000 (1.4 per cent) and 18,000 (4.4 per cent) respectively. The unemployment rate has fallen 0.6 percentage points and the labour force participation rate has increased by 0.4 percentage points.

Over the year, all ethnic groups showed declines in their unemployment rates. The surveyed (unadjusted) unemployment rates for the September 2001 quarter were 3.8 per cent for European/Päkehä, 12.3 per cent for Mäori, 8.2 per cent for Pacific peoples and 7.5 per cent for the 'Other' ethnic group. This order has remained the same for most of the last four years.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician
END


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