Embargoed until 10:45am – 8 May 2008
In seasonally adjusted terms, the number of people employed dropped by 29,000 (1.3 percent) in the March 2008 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Employment has returned to levels seen early in 2007, and follows a record high in the December 2007 quarter.
Full-time employment decreased by 1.7 percent in the March 2008 quarter. This was driven by a decline in female full-time employment of 22,000 following an increase in the December quarter of 31,000. Male fulltime employment decreased by 0.6 percent. Despite a small increase in female part-time employment over the quarter, total part-time employment decreased by 1.1 percent. This was due to a decline in male parttime employment of 4,000.
The number of people in the labour force decreased by 24,000 (1.1 percent) to 2,222,000 in the March 2008 quarter, while the working-age population grew by 10,100 (0.3 percent). This resulted in a decrease in the labour force participation rate of 0.9 percentage points to 67.7 percent. Both the male and female labour force participation rates declined in the March 2008 quarter to 74.6 percent and 61.1 percent, respectively.
In the March 2008 quarter the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 3.6 percent. The female unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage points to 3.9 percent, while the male unemployment rate remained flat at 3.4 percent.
The number of people unemployed increased by 4,000 (5.5 percent). The number of unemployed females increased by 3,000 to 40,000, while the number of unemployed males increased by 1,000 to 41,000 in the March 2008 quarter.
The unadjusted unemployment rates by ethnic group for the March 2008 quarter were: 8.6 percent for Māori, 8.2 percent for Pacific peoples, 6.0 percent for the 'Other' ethnic group and 3.0 percent for European.
8 May 2008