NZ hits lowest unemployment rate in a decade

Young stylish businessmanNew Zealand’s rate of unemployment has fallen to the lowest it has been since June 2008, at 3.9 per cent for the September quarter.

This decrease is reflected in a strong rise in employment, which rose to 68.3 per cent – the highest rate in more than 30 years.

“While this quarter’s unemployment rate is outside market expectations, we know New Zealand has a small economy with a dynamic labour market, and large changes, both up and down, have happened before,” Stats NZ labour market and household statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said.

Attewell pointed to several economic indicators that have seen strong and widespread growth in 2018, with reports of more job ads, high levels of migration and tourism, growing retail sales, rising exports and population growth.

Stats NZ said that a tight labour market can lead to low unemployment, as demand for workers increases to the point where those who are not currently working are able to secure employment almost immediately.

Auckland saw employment grow 3.8 per cent, meaning 34,600 people gained employment, while Waikato saw 8,400 people gain employment, reflecting a 3.3 per cent increase.

The Taranaki region saw the highest change at 7.1 per cent, where a further 4,300 people were employed.

Average weekly earnings for full-time employees increased annually by 3.3 per cent to $1212.82 per week.

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