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Regions show strong employment growth

Regions show strong employment growth

New reports released today show New Zealand’s labour market continues to thrive, said Social Development and Employment Minister Ruth Dyson.

“These Department of Labour/Ministry of Social Development Quarterly Regional Labour Market Reports show that some regions of New Zealand are experiencing unprecedented growth," said Ruth Dyson.

“Nationally, the labour force participation rate is 68.3 per cent in the September quarter 2007, the second highest rate recorded since surveying began in 1986.

"Regionally, Taranaki has shown the strongest labour force participation growth rate, increasing from 66.9 per cent in the year to September 2006, to reach 69.7 per cent in the year to September 2007. Taranaki also saw the largest rise in employment rates, up from 64.4 per cent in the year to September 2006 to 67.5 per cent in the year to September 2007. The strengthening oil and gas industry in this region is certainly having a positive impact on the labour market."

Strong growth in employment was seen for Bay of Plenty (up 8.9 per cent from the year to September 2006) and Waikato (up 8.5 per cent).

“The national unemployment rate of 3.5 per cent is at the lowest rate recorded since surveying began in 1986 and all regional unemployment rates are below 5 per cent on an annual average basis," said Ruth Dyson.

The lowest annual average unemployment rate was 2.6 per cent in Southland. The annual average rate of unemployment declined in eight of the 12 regions between September 2006 and September 2007. All South Island regions recorded unemployment rates at or below 3.5 per cent.

The largest falls in unemployment rates were in Bay of Plenty (from 4.1 per cent in the year to September 2006 to 3.3 per cent in the year to September 2007), Northland (from 5.0 per cent in the year to September 2006 to 4.3 per cent in the year to September 2007) and Wellington (from 4.6 per cent in the year to September 2006 to 4.0 per cent in the year to September 2007).

“These 12 reports provide a single point of reference for a range of region-specific labour market information and give a regional dimension to this quarter’s Household Labour Force Survey results released yesterday.

"The Labour-led government's commitment to upskilling the New Zealand workforce, lifting the quality of employment, and providing more choices for living, caring and working is paying dividends. These fantastic results around New Zealand highlight this commitment," said Ruth Dyson.

The reports draw on official statistics from the Department of Labour’s Job Vacancy Monitor, Ministry of Social Development beneficiary records and Statistics New Zealand’s Household Labour Force Survey.

The reports are available at:

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