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Unemployment rate falls to 6.0 percent
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  06 May 2010

Household Labour Force Survey: March 2010 quarter  –  Media Release

In seasonally adjusted terms, New Zealand’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.1 percent to 6.0 percent during the March 2010 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the first decrease in the unemployment rate since the December 2007 quarter in the Household Labour Force Survey, which is based on a representative sample of 15,000 New Zealand households.

The number of people unemployed dropped by 25,000 during the quarter, while the number of people employed grew by 22,000. This compositional change in the labour force resulted in a sharp fall in the unemployment rate. Labour force participation remained unchanged over the quarter.

“Typically in the March quarter, temporary employment associated with the Christmas and New Year period and seasonal agricultural activity declines, and unemployment increases,” said manager of labour market statistics, Peter Gardiner. “But this March quarter we have seen an unexpected fall in unemployment, particularly among young men, which is accentuated when seasonal influences are removed.”

The rise in employment during the March 2010 quarter followed a revised increase of 0.1 percent in the December 2009 quarter. Employment rose for both men and women, primarily driven by a rise in full-time employment for men (up by 19,000). Part-time employment fell by 3,000 during the quarter. In line with the rise in employment, actual hours worked increased by 1.7 percent.

The HLFS produces quarterly estimates of the number of people employed, unemployed, and not in the labour force, which are then adjusted to remove the impact of regular seasonal events. 

 

Geoff Bascand

6 May 2010

Government Statistician

 

END

For media enquiries contact:
Peter Gardiner
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

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