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Employment and unemployment rise in March
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  03 May 2012

Household Labour Force Survey: March 2012 quarter  –  Media Release

The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent in the March 2012 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is up from a revised figure of 6.4 percent last quarter. The labour force grew by 18,000, with 9,000 more people employed as well as 9,000 more people unemployed in the March 2012 quarter.

“We saw increases in both the number of people in work and the number out there looking for work in the March 2012 quarter. This meant participation in the labour force rose to the highest level since its peak just over three years ago,” industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.

The employment rate (the proportion of the working-age population in employment) rose to 64.2 percent in the March 2012 quarter. The employment rate had been 63.9 percent in each of the previous three quarters.

Compared with the December 2011 quarter part-time employment rose 2.5 percent, to a new peak in the March quarter. In contrast, full-time employment fell slightly (down 0.2 percent).

The rise in unemployment reflected more women in unemployment, while no more men were unemployed. This meant the same number of men and women were unemployed.

The Household Labour Force Survey results are based on a representative sample of 15,000 households throughout New Zealand. The survey is designed to produce reliable estimates of the numbers of people employed, unemployed, and not in the labour force.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician

3 May 2012 
END

For media enquiries contact:
Diane Ramsay
Wellington 04 931 4600 
Email: info@stats.co.nz

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