New Zealand: Labor market shows signs of improvement despite rise in unemployment rate
August 8, 2013
The economy added 8,000 new jobs in seasonally adjusted terms in Q2, following the substantial 38,000 jobs created in the first quarter. The second quarter reading is the result of smaller gains in both part-time positions (+2,000 jobs) and full-time jobs (+6,000 jobs), compared to the previous quarter.
Despite the positive development, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up from 6.2% in the first quarter to 6.4% in the second. The unemployment rate rose amid a slight increase in the labor participation rate. The reading slightly overshot market expectations of 6.3%..
In its June Monetary Policy Statement, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand stated that it expects the unemployment rate to drop to 5.7% by the end of fiscal year 2013 (ending March 2014) and to dip to 4.9% in fiscal 2014 (ending March 2015). FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect the unemployment rate to average 6.4% in 2013, before declining to an average of 5.9% in 2014.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist