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Financial News: New Zealand Unemployment Rate Rises To 4.2%

New Zealand Unemployment Rate Rises To 4.2%

05/05/2020 - 19:26:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The jobless rate in New Zealand came in at a seasonally adjusted 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2020, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.

That was up from 4.0 percent in the three months prior, although it beat expectations for 4.3 percent.

The employment change was roughly flat on quarter - the same as in the previous three months and again beating expectations for a decline of 0.3 percent.

The participation rate was 70.3 percent, up from 70.1 percent in Q4 and surpassing forecasts for 69.9 percent.

For men, the unemployment rate rose to 4.1 percent, up from 3.8 percent last quarter. For women, the unemployment rate remained at 4.3 percent.

The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed people rose to 116,000 (up 5,000) in the March 2020 quarter. This reflected 5,000 more unemployed men.

The seasonally adjusted underutilization rate rose to 10.4 percent this quarter, up from 10.0 percent last quarter.

For men, the underutilization rate remained at 8.3 percent. For women, the underutilization rate rose to 12.7 percent, up from 11.8 percent last quarter.

In the March 2020 quarter, the number of people who were underutilized rose by 15,000 people to 299,000. This reflected 1,000 more men and 14,000 more women who were underutilized.

The seasonally adjusted employment rate rose to 67.5 percent in the March 2020 quarter, up from 67.3 percent last quarter.

For men, the employment rate rose to 72.4 percent, up from 72.3 percent last quarter. For women, the employment rate rose to 62.8 percent, up from 62.5 percent last quarter.

In the March 2020 quarter, the number of people who were employed rose by 19,000 (0.7 percent) to reach 2,661,000. There were 9,000 more women and 10,000 more men employed than last quarter.

The two main industries contributing to this growth were: public administration and safety - up 10,400 (9.4 percent); and education and training - up 8,800 (6.4 percent).

The labor cost index (LCI) all salary and wage rates (including overtime) increased 2.5 percent in the year to the March 2020 quarter, while the analytical unadjusted LCI increased 3.8 percent.

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