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Unemployment rate 6.5 percent

Unemployment rate 6.5 percent

Embargoed until 10:45am – 04 August 2011

The New Zealand labour market remained relatively steady in the June 2011 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed flat at 6.5 percent in the June 2011 quarter, while the number of people employed rose slightly.

The number of people unemployed was unchanged at 154,000 while the number of people employed grew by 1,000. Employment increased for women and decreased for men in the June 2011 quarter. Fulltime employment grew slightly – by 0.2 percent, while there was a small decrease in part-time employment (0.1 percent).

“Although key labour market indicators remain flat when compared with the March 2011 quarter, annual changes in the number of unemployed and employed show a continued strengthening of the New Zealand labour market,” industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.

From the June 2010 quarter to the June 2011 quarter, employment grew by 43,000 people (2.0 percent), which is approximately the population of Nelson. Both male and female employment increased. Over the same period, the number of unemployed fell by 6,000 (3.7 percent), the largest annual percentage decrease since December 2007. The unemployment rate has decreased – in June 2010 it was 6.9 percent compared with 6.5 percent this quarter.

For the June 2011 year, the unadjusted annual movements for key labour market outcomes in the Canterbury region were different from the movements in the national estimates. Unemployment grew in Canterbury while dropping nationally, and employment fell in Canterbury while it rose nationally. Please refer to the Household Labour Force Survey: June 2011 quarter for more detail on the Canterbury region.

There was continued disruption to interviewing in some areas of Canterbury in the June 2011 quarter.

However, this disruption did not necessitate any change to Statistics New Zealand's normal methodology.

The Household Labour Force Survey results are based on a representative sample of 15,000 households throughout New Zealand. The survey is designed to produce estimates of the numbers of people employed, unemployed, and not in the labour force.

Geoff Bascand 4 August 2011
Government Statistician



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