Unemployment has been lagging behind other positive economic indicators but it is now trending down:
More people are working and unemployment has fallen to 5.6 percent according to the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand.
“We continue to see more people move into employment and although the participation rate has dropped from a peak last quarter, it is still at an historically high level,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said. “The unemployment rate fell from a revised 5.9 percent to 5.6 percent and is the lowest it has been since the March 2009 quarter.”
Annually, the number of people employed rose 3.7 percent in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Employment growth in Canterbury accounted for almost half of the total national employment growth over the year. In the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), demand for workers from established businesses rose 2.3 percent.
Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI) salary and wage rates (including overtime), increased 1.7 percent compared with annual consumer price inflation of 1.6 percent. Average ordinary time hourly earnings (QES) rose 2.5 percent over the year.
“Annual wage inflation edged up and this was driven by private sector annual wage rate growth of 1.8 percent – influenced by the minimum wage increasing 3.6 percent. Public sector annual wage rate growth was unchanged at 1.2 percent,” Ms Ramsay said. . .
National’s policies are working for New Zealand and resulting in more people working:
Unemployment has fallen to 5.6 per cent – its lowest level since the March 2009 quarter.
Today’s Household Labour Force Survey shows the number of people employed increased by 83,000 over the last year.
“These results show the continued strength of the New Zealand economy as we continue to recover from the twin blows of the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes,” Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.
“It is particularly pleasing to see young people benefitting from our economic growth with 11,300 more 15-19 year olds in employment in the last year. The 15-19 years NEET rate is down to 7.4 per cent in the quarter which is its lowest level since prior to the GFC in mid-2008.”
Other highlights of today’s HLFS release include employment for Pasifika people rising by 19.3 per cent in the past year – the largest annual movement since the series began in December 2007. The Maori employment rate is up 2.8 per cent over the same period.
New Zealand’s unemployment rate continues to be lower than most OECD countries and is now the 9th lowest in the OECD, and better than Australia, the US and the UK. The average unemployment rate across the OECD is 7.4 per cent.
Mr Joyce said today’s data also showed that wages continue to grow ahead of inflation with average weekly wages up 2.7 per cent over the year, compared with inflation of 1.6 per cent.
“The challenge now is to continue to build on this momentum so we have consistent and sustained economic performance that really lifts the opportunities for and incomes of New Zealanders over the longer term,” Mr Joyce says.
“The Government is continuing to work hard through its Business Growth Agenda to implement policies that encourage businesses across the country to invest and grow, and hire more people.”
Unemployment has high economic and social costs for the individuals without jobs and the wider community.
Both the increase in the number of people in the workforce and the reduction in unemployment are good for the people involved and the country.
the trend is improving but there is still work to be done and it needs a National-led government to do it.
We can’t afford to change from the policies which are working for New Zealand and New Zealanders to those promoted by Labour and the rag-tag bunch of wee parties it would need to prop it up in government.
They will increase the costs and complexities of employing people which will threaten existing jobs and put hurdles in the way of creating new ones.