New Zealand: Unemployment rate rises on the back of part-time job losses
February 4, 2011
In the fourth quarter, the economy shed 11,000 jobs in seasonally adjusted terms, which contrasted the 23,000 jobs added in the third quarter. The quarterly reading represented the greatest job loss since the third quarter of 2009. The labour market deterioration was mainly the result of a loss in part-time jobs (-14,000 jobs), and a gain in full-time positions (+5,000 jobs) was not enough to offset this decline. As a result of labour market deterioration in the final quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate rose to a seasonally adjusted 6.8% from 6.4% in the third quarter, which exceeded private sector analysts' expectations of a 6.5% increase. According to its December monetary policy statement, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand anticipates the unemployment rate will end the fiscal year 2010 (ending March 2011) at 6.4% and will fall further to 5.5% in fiscal year 2011.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist