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

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news