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Unemployment rate falls to 5.3 percent
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  03 February 2016

Labour Market Statistics: December 2015 quarter  –  Media Release

The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in the December 2015 quarter (from 6.0 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009. There were 16,000 fewer people unemployed than in the September 2015 quarter.

Unemployment fell for both men and women over the latest quarter, with the unemployment rate for men falling 0.5 percentage points (to 5.0 percent) and that for women falling 0.8 percentage points (to 5.7 percent).

“Although the number of employed people has risen, there was also growth in the number of people not participating in the labour market,” Ms Ramsay said. “This has contributed to labour force participation falling for the third quarter in a row.”

Over the December quarter, employment grew 0.9 percent, after falling in the previous quarter. This has resulted in annual employment growth of 1.3 percent.

“Employment has been especially strong for 20- to 29-year-olds, with 26,800 more people employed in this age group over the year,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said. “There were also just over 23,000 more people employed in Auckland over the year. The largest rise in employment was within Auckland’s construction industry.”

Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labour cost index, eased to 1.5 percent, the lowest since the year to the March 2010 quarter. This compares with low annual consumer price inflation of 0.1 percent.


Dec 2015
quarter

Quarterly change

Annual change 

(000)

Percent

Employed

2,369

+0.9

+1.3

Unemployed

133

-10.9

-6.7

Filled jobs

1,848

+1.0

+2.7

Percent

Percentage points

Employment rate

64.8

+0.3

-0.6

Unemployment rate

5.3

-0.7

-0.5

Labour force participation rate

68.4

-0.3

-1.0

Level

Percent

Average ordinary time hourly earnings

$29.38

+0.3

+2.1

Wage inflation (salary and
wage rates, including overtime)

1119

+0.4

+1.5

See data quality for more information on these indicators and the data sources we use to compile them.

Ends
For media enquiries contact: Diane Ramsay, Wellington 04 931 4600, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 3 February 2016

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