Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


NZ jobless rate falls to 6.2% on record employment jump

NZ jobless rate falls to three-year low 6.2% as employment records record quarterly jump

By Jonathan Underhill

May 9 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand’s jobless rate fell to a three-year low in the first three month of the year as the employment rate grew for the first time in four quarters, fuelled by demand for workers in Canterbury.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in the first quarter, the lowest since March 2010, from a revised 6.8 percent three months earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand’s Household Labour Force Survey.

The number of people in work climbed by 38,000, or 1.7 percent in the quarter to 2.23 million, the biggest jump since the series began in March 1986, while the participation rate improved to 67.8 percent from 67.2 percent.

The figures, though notoriously volatile, show a stronger jobs market than economists had expected.

The jobless rate was expected to be 6.8 percent, according to a Reuters survey of 12 economists. Jobs growth was forecast to be 0.8 percent quarter on quarter. The participation rate met expectations.

Much of the strength was driven by Canterbury, where the jobless rate tumbled 21 percent to 4.3 percent and the participation rate and employment rates climbed. Excluding Canterbury, which is rebuilding from its disastrous earthquakes, the labour market was more subdued, Statistics New Zealand said.

"Outside of Christchurch, employment is struggling, particularly in the tradable sector," Peter Cavanagh, senior client advisor at Bancorp Treasury, said before the report was released.

The data follows figures this week showing private sector ordinary time wages rose 0.4 percent in the first three months of the year from the fourth quarter of 2012, and gained 1.8 percent from the first quarter last year.

While this week’s data shows a bounce back from a surprisingly weak fourth quarter, there have been some high-profile job cuts that underline that the labour market is still tepid. The employment rate is still down 0.3 percentage points over the year and well below levels seen before the 2008 and 2009 recession, the department said. The participation rate is down 0.8 percentage points in the year.

Fonterra Cooperative Group, which imposed a hiring freeze in February, said this month it may eliminate up to 300 jobs as it seeks annual cost savings of $65 million a year, adding to $60 million of cost cutting already targeted for 2013. Solid Energy yesterday announced plans to cut 105 jobs, adding to 440 already shed as the unprofitable state-owned coal miner. Tait Communications announced restructuring that could cut 70 workers.

Today’s figures showed some improvement in employment for young people. The jobless rate for people aged 20-24 fell 4.1 percentage points to 10.9 percent, the lowest since the third quarter of 2009

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news