New Zealand: Unemployment rate unexpectedly dips in Q4
February 5, 2020
The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate slip to 4.0% in Q4 from a revised 4.1% the previous quarter (previously reported: 4.2%). The reading was below market expectations of a 4.2% unemployment rate, and reflected a marginal decrease in the number of unemployed people as well as a substantial drop in the labor force participation rate, both contributing to the dip in the number of unemployed people as a share of the labor force. That said, Q4 saw extremely modest employment gains.
Meanwhile, the underutilization rate—which includes both unemployment and underemployment—fell from 10.4% in Q3 to 10.0% in Q4, signaling a further decline in the labor market’s untapped capacity. Meanwhile, private sector wages rose 2.4% in Q4 on a year-on-year basis, above Q3’s 2.3% upturn.