Employment

Unemployment has increased

  • As well as providing income, employment has a positive impact on individual satisfaction and happiness. It also increases participation in society and the productive capacity of the economy. Unemployment increases the risk of poverty and consequent social exclusion.
  • The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed expressed as a percentage of the labour force. The labour force consists of all individuals of the working-age population who are either employed or unemployed. Unemployment is defined as being without paid work, where a person was available for and actively seeking work.

NZ Stats – 2017

Annual unemployment rate has increased from 1987

  • The unemployment rate peaked at 10.7 percent in 1992, at 7.7 percent in 1998, and fell to a low of 3.7 percent in 2007.
  • As economic growth declined throughout 2008 and the first half of 2009, unemployment rose. The annual rate in 2008 was 4.2 percent, rising to 6.9 percent in 2012 and again falling to 5.8 percent in 2015.
  • Because there are always new people entering the labour force and others changing jobs, there is always some level of unemployment. Therefore, the unemployment rate is not expected to ever fall to zero.

Stats NZ 2015

Annual unemployment rate has increased from 1987

  • The unemployment rate peaked at 10.6 percent in 1992, at 7.7 percent in 1998, and fell to a low of 3.7 percent in 2007.
  • As economic growth declined throughout 2008 and the first half of 2009, unemployment rose. The annual rate in 2008 was 4.2 percent, rising to 6.9 percent in 2012 and again falling to 6.2 percent in 2013.
  • Because there are always new people entering the labour force and others changing jobs, there is always some level of unemployment. Therefore, the unemployment rate is not expected to ever fall to zero.

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Additional details on employment and unemployment in New Zealand

(click to enlarge graphs)

(i) Employment rates for those aged between 15 -24 years old are above the OECD average.
(ii) There unemployment rates are slightly higher for females
(iii) Employment in manufacturing is declining
(iv) There are considerable regional differences in levels of unemployment with the highest levels being in Northland.
  • The unemployment rate is expected to trend down gradually, falling to 5.9% by March quarter 2014 then declining sharply to 5.0% by March quarter 2015 and dropping further to 4.8% by March quarter 2016
  • The global economic outlook has strengthened.
  • The uncertainty and concerns that the Eurozone may fall into recession have diminished with positive albeit small growth reported.
  • Prospects for growth in the US have improved while weakening somewhat in China and in Australia over the short term.
  • This is not expected to dampen New Zealand’s export demand and returns, and the Canterbury rebuild will provide the strongest growth stimulus.