New Zealand: Unemployment rate falls in the first quarter
May 5, 2011
In the first quarter, the economy added 30,000 new jobs in seasonally adjusted terms, which contrasted the revised 9,000 job loss observed in the fourth quarter (previously reported: -11,000 jobs). The quarterly improvement represented the greatest job gain in more than six years. The positive development in the labour market reflected gains in both full-time jobs (+9,000 jobs) and part-time jobs (+19,000 jobs). As a result of the labour market improvement observed in the first quarter, the unemployment rate inched down to a seasonally adjusted 6.6% from a revised 6.7% in the final quarter of 2010 (previously reported: +6.8% quarter-on-quarter). The reading overshot private sector analysts expectations, which had anticipated the index would fall to 6.7% from the previous quarter's reading of 6.8%. According to its March monetary policy statement, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand anticipates the unemployment rate will end this financial year (ending March 2012) at 6.7% and will fall further to 6.2% in financial year 2012.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist