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Labour market strong, unemployment increases

Embargoed until 10:45am – 7 August 2008

Labour market remains strong despite unemployment Increasing

In seasonally adjusted terms, the labour market remained strong during the June 2008 quarter despite an increase in the number of people unemployed, Statistics New Zealand said today. Employment and participation remain at high levels following the growth seen in the labour market since early 2000.

After falling throughout 2007, the unemployment rate has increased over the first two quarters of 2008. The unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 3.9 percent over the June 2008 quarter. The male unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage points to 3.9 percent, while the female unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 4.0 percent.

Despite this, the number of people employed increased by 26,000 (1.2 percent) over the June 2008 quarter and is the second highest level of employment ever recorded by the Household Labour Force Survey. This follows a fall in employment of 1.3 percent over the March 2008 quarter.

There have been some fluctuations in full-time employment recently, with full-time employment increasing by 17,000 (1.0 percent) over the June 2008 quarter. This was driven by an increase in female full-time employment of 15,000, following a decrease in female full-time employment of 23,000 over the March 2008 quarter. Part-time employment increased by 8,000 (1.6 percent) over the June 2008 quarter.

The working-age population grew by 0.2 percent over the quarter. This moderate growth coupled with the strong growth in the labour force of 1.5 percent resulted in a labour force participation rate increase of 0.9 percentage points, to 68.6 percent. Both the male and female labour force participation rates increased over the June 2008 quarter, to 75.4 percent and 62.1 percent, respectively.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
7 August 2008


There is a companion Hot Off The Press information release published – Household Labour Force Survey: June 2008 quarter.

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