Unemployment jumps to 4.3%
The number of people out of work has risen as the pace of job growth did not keep pace with the growing labour force.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.3 per cent in the December 2018 quarter, up from 4.0 per cent last quarter, according to recent figures released by Stats NZ.
The rise in the unemployment rate reflected higher growth in unemployment, up 10,000, as a share of the overall growth in the labour force, up 12,000.
Unemployment was largely influenced by more unemployed men, up 8,000, for women, unemployment rose 2,000 and for men and women combined, there were 12,000 more unemployed youth (15 to 24-year-olds).
“The unemployment rate for men rose to 4.4 per cent in the December quarter, while it was 4.2 per cent for women. This was the first time since June 2010 that this rate was lower for women than men,” says labour market and household statistics senior manager, Jason Attewell.
“In the latest quarter, we adjusted some high-level data to improve its accuracy. This included figures for employed people, those not in the labour force, and hours worked. While this is not the first time we’ve made this type of adjustment, it is the first time we’ve done it before publishing. Previously, we made the adjustment a few quarters later.
“Without the adjustment this quarter, the unemployment rate would have been 4.4 per cent rather than 4.3 per cent.”
In the latest quarter, growth in the working-age population, which was up 25,000, outstripped growth in the labour force. This resulted in a slight dip in the labour force participation rate to 70.9 per cent, although the rate remains high.