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New Zealand – Unemployment rate rises to 4.3% in December

07 February 2019

New Zealand’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.3% in the December 2018 quarter, up from 4.0% (revised) last quarter, according to data from Statistics New Zealand.

Statistics New Zealand had recorded an unexpected decade low 3.9% unemployment rate in the last quarter, which was revised in today’s announcement.

The rise in the unemployment rate in the December quarter reflected higher growth in unemployment (up 10,000), as a share of the overall growth in the labour force (up 12,000).

Statistics New Zealand found that unemployment was largely influenced by more unemployed men (up 8,000). For women, unemployment rose 2,000. For men and women combined, there were 12,000 more unemployed youth (15–24-year-olds).

The employment rate fell to 67.8%, down from its peak of 68.2% in the September 2018 quarter, due to stronger growth in the working-age population than for employment.

Meanwhile, the labour participation rate fell to 70.9% from 71.1%.

Annual wage growth stood at 2.0%, compared to 1.9% in the previous quarter. Quarterly wage growth was unchanged from the previous quarter at 0.5%.

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