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Unemployment falls to 5.6 per cent

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

6 August 2014

Unemployment falls to 5.6 per cent

Unemployment has fallen to 5.6 per cent – its lowest level since the March 2009 quarter.

Today’s Household Labour Force Survey shows the number of people employed increased by 83,000 over the last year.

“These results show the continued strength of the New Zealand economy as we continue to recover from the twin blows of the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes,” Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.

“It is particularly pleasing to see young people benefitting from our economic growth with 11,300 more 15-19 year olds in employment in the last year. The 15-19 years NEET rate is down to 7.4 per cent in the quarter which is its lowest level since prior to the GFC in mid-2008.”

Other highlights of today’s HLFS release include employment for Pasifika people rising by 19.3 per cent in the past year – the largest annual movement since the series began in December 2007. The Maori employment rate is up 2.8 per cent over the same period.

New Zealand’s unemployment rate continues to be lower than most OECD countries and is now the 9th lowest in the OECD, and better than Australia, the US and the UK. The average unemployment rate across the OECD is 7.4 per cent.

Mr Joyce said today’s data also showed that wages continue to grow ahead of inflation with average weekly wages up 2.7 per cent over the year, compared with inflation of 1.6 per cent.

“The challenge now is to continue to build on this momentum so we have consistent and sustained economic performance that really lifts the opportunities for and incomes of New Zealanders over the longer term,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Government is continuing to work hard through its Business Growth Agenda to implement policies that encourage businesses across the country to invest and grow, and hire more people.”

ENDS

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