New Zealand: Unemployment falls to lowest level in more than six years
February 4, 2016
The labor market in New Zealand improved in the last quarter of 2015. The economy added 22,000 jobs, which more than recovered the 11,000 job loss registered in the previous quarter. Q4’s result was the strongest job creation reading since Q4 2014.
As a result of the strong gain in new jobs, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell dramatically from 6.0% in Q3 to 5.3% in Q4, which marked the lowest level since Q1 2009 and caught the markets by surprise as they had seen the unemployment rate inching up to 6.1%. Nonetheless, analysts suggest taking Q4’s result with a pinch of salt as the Household Labor Force Survey, “can at times be volatile.” Moreover, the labor force participation rate—adjusted by seasonal factors—inched down to 68.4% in Q4 (Q3: 68.7%).
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist