New Zealand Unemployment Q2 2016

New Zealand

Labor market data continues to strengthen in Q2 owing in part to methodological changes

New Zealand’s labor market continued to strengthen in the second quarter of this year. The economy added 58,000 new jobs in Q2, which followed the 32,000 job gain registered in Q1.

According to the press release, the large increase partly reflects methodological changes to the survey. Statistics New Zealand has started including personnel from the armed forces in its survey and is identifying more self-employed people in the labor force.

The Statistical Office also reported that the unemployment rate had inched down from a revised 5.2% (previously reported: 5.7%) in Q1 to 5.1% in Q2. The reading surprised market analysts who had expected the unemployment rate to climb to 5.3%.

The Statistical Office reported that the number of employed workers had increased by 2.4% in Q2 to reach 2.5 million people, confirming that the labor market in New Zealand remains strong. The labor force continues to increase due to strong net immigration, on top of the positive trend in participation by women and older workers.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.4% in 2016, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2017, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 5.3%.

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New Zealand Unemployment Chart

New Zealand Unemployment Q2 2016

Note: Quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted and annual variation of retail sales in %.
Source: Statistics New Zealand and FocusEconomics calculations.

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