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Employment continues to rise
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  07 May 2014

Labour market statistics for the March 2014 quarter  –  Media Release

Employment and labour force participation continue to rise strongly, while unemployment remains at 6.0 percent, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"We're seeing more people in the labour market, with the participation rate surpassing the previous high in late 2008 before the downturn in the labour market," labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said. "The rise in participation is on the back of more people in work, while the number of people looking for work remains unchanged."

The labour force participation and employment rates both increased 0.4 percentage points over the quarter. "Employment continues to rise, with growth seen across a number of regions, industries, and demographics," Ms Ramsay said. 

Annually, the number of people employed rose 3.7 percent in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Demand for workers from established businesses rose 2.6 percent in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES). 

Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI) salary and wage rates (including overtime), was 1.6 percent. This compares with annual consumer price inflation of 1.5 percent. Average ordinary time hourly earnings, as measured by the QES, rose 2.5 percent over the year.

In the March 2014 quarter:

 

 March 2014
quarter

Quarterly change

Annual change 

(000)

(Percent)

Employed

2,318

+0.9

+3.7

Unemployed

   147

  0.0

 -1.1

Filled jobs

1,775

+1.1

 +2.6 

 

 (Percent)

 (Percentage points)

Employment rate

 65.1

+0.4

+1.4

Unemployment rate

   6.0

  0.0

 -0.2

Labour force participation rate

 69.3

+0.4

+1.4

 

 (Level)

 (Percent)

Average ordinary time hourly earnings

($)28.18

+0.5

+2.5 

Wage inflation (salary and
wage rates, including overtime)

1087

 +0.4 

+1.6 

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. Results from all three surveys are based on representative samples from across New Zealand. Explaining labour market statistics has more information on these indicators.

Ends
For media enquiries contact: Diane Ramsay, Wellington 04 931 4600, info@stats.govt.nz

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician 
7 May 2014
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