New Zealand Unemployment Q3 2019

New Zealand

New Zealand: Economic slack filters into the labor market in Q3

November 6, 2019

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.2% in Q3 from an 11-year low of 3.9% the previous quarter. The reading was slightly above market expectations of a 4.1% unemployment rate, and reflected an increase in both the number of unemployed people and the labor force participation rate, both contributing to the rise in the number of unemployed people as a share of the labor force. That said, Q3 also saw some employment gains, greater among men than women.

On the other hand, the underutilization rate—which includes both unemployment and underemployment—fell from 11.0% in Q2 to 10.4% in Q3, signaling a decline in the labor market’s untapped capacity. Meanwhile, private sector wages rose 0.6% in Q3 on a quarter-on-quarter basis, below Q2’s 0.8% upturn.

FocusEconomics panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 4.3% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 4.4% in 2021.


Author: Massimo Bassetti, Economist

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New Zealand Unemployment Chart


New Zealand Unemployment Q3 2019 0

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


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