NZ Stats – March 2019

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in the March 2019 quarter, down from 4.3 percent in the December 2018 quarter, Stats NZ said today. 

In September 2018 unemployment was at the lowest level for 10 years.

  • The unemployment rate has been mostly trending down since the global financial crisis in 2008
  • The September 2018 quarter unemployment rate of 4.0 percent was the lowest in a decade
  • The number of people unemployed declined at a faster rate than the number of people in the labour force. This resulted in the unemployment rate falling close to its 10-year low.
  • The unemployment rate for men was 3.9 percent in the March 2019 quarter, down from 4.4 percent last quarter. For women, it was 4.5 percent, up from 4.2 percent.

How employment figures are calculated

  • 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.
  • Because there are always new people entering the labour force and others are changing jobs, there is always some level of unemployment. Therefore, the unemployment rate is not expected to ever fall to zero.

Employment issues 2014

(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.