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Labour market continues to improve
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  07 August 2013

Labour market statistics for the June 2013 quarter  –  Media Release

The labour market is showing signs of improvement, Statistics New Zealand said today. Employment is growing slowly and unemployment is down from a year ago, but up slightly since the start of the year. Wage inflation continues to be restrained.

This is the first time Statistics NZ has released the full suite of quarterly labour market statistics on the same day. This is to give a more complete picture of the labour market.

Employment continued to rise in the June 2013 quarter, following a positive March 2013 quarter. Over the June 2013 year, the number of people employed rose 0.7 percent in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS), while demand for workers from established businesses rose 1.9 percent in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES).

“This growth in employment lines up with the moderate economic recovery we've seen. Employment was falling over 2012 while growth in economic activity was slower,” industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.

Employment growth continues to be led by Canterbury. “More people are employed in Canterbury, while we're also seeing the number of hours worked rise across the other regions. This rise in hours outpaced the growth in employment in the rest of New Zealand,” Ms Ramsay said.

In the June 2013 quarter:

  • The number of people employed rose 0.4 percent, while filled jobs rose by 0.8 percent, after adjusting for usual seasonal patterns.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, up from 6.2 percent in the March 2013 quarter. 
  • Annual wage inflation was 1.7 percent.
  • Average hourly ordinary time earnings were up 0.2 percent over the quarter.

The unemployment rate for the June 2013 quarter edged up to 6.4 percent, down from 2012’s 6.9 percent average.

Wage inflation as measured by the labour cost index (LCI) eased to 1.7 percent in the year to the June 2013 quarter, down from 2.0 percent this time last year. Wage rates for just over half of the positions surveyed in the LCI increased during the year. Of those that rose, the average increase is the lowest since the December 2000 quarter, at 3.4 percent. Annual consumer inflation is currently at its lowest since 1999.

Growth in wages, as measured by the QES, has continued to ease. Average ordinary time hourly earnings rose by 2.1 percent over the year, the lowest wage growth since the December 2010 quarter.

Our labour market indicators include the HLFS, QES, and LCI. The HLFS is a broad measure of labour market activity by individuals, while the QES measures demand by established firms for paid work and hourly earnings. The LCI is a measure of wage inflation. All three surveys results are based on representative samples from across New Zealand. Explaining labour market statistics has more information on these indicators. 

Ends

 
For media enquiries contact: Authorised by:

Diane Ramsay 
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Published 7 August 2013

Dallas Welch
Acting Government Statistician

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