New Zealand: Unemployment drops below 5.0% in Q1
May 4, 2017
New Zealand’s labor market strengthened at the start of the year. Statistics New Zealand reported that the unemployment rate dropped from a revised 5.2% in Q4 to 4.9% in Q1, coming in below the 5.0% benchmark of full employment in the economy and market analysts’ expectations of a softer drop to 5.1%.
According to Statistics New Zealand, the labor force participation rate inched up from 70.5% in the fourth quarter to 70.6% in the first quarter. The number of employed workers increased by 1.2% in Q1 to reach 2.5 million people and the working-age population grew by 0.7% to 3.7 million. The accommodation and food services and construction sectors were behind the creation of most jobs in the first quarter. Lastly, wage growth remained steady at the 0.4% increase observed in the previous quarter.