New Zealand: Unemployment dips to lowest level in three years
May 9, 2013
In the first quarter, the economy added 38,000 new jobs in seasonally adjusted terms, which contrasted the revised 21,000 jobs lost in the fourth quarter of 2012 (previously reported: -23,000 jobs). The improvement, which represents the largest job creation on record, was mainly the result of a notable increase in full-time positions (+31,000 jobs) and a smaller gain in part-time jobs (+7,000).
As a result of this positive development, the unemployment rate fell from a seasonally adjusted 6.8% in the fourth quarter to 6.2% in the first, undershooting market expectations that had the unemployment rate stable at 6.8%. In addition, the reading marks the lowest unemployment rate since the first quarter of 2010.
In its March Monetary Policy Statement, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand expects the unemployment rate to drop to 6.0% by the end of fiscal year 2013 (ending March 2014) and to dip to 5.1% 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 5.8% in 2014.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist