New Zealand Unemployment Q4 2019

New Zealand

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.

FocusEconomics panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 4.3% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 4.4% in 2021.

Author: Massimo Bassetti, Economist

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New Zealand Unemployment Chart

New Zealand Unemployment Q4  2019

Note: Quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted and annual variation of retail sales in %.
Source: Statistics New Zealand and FocusEconomics calculations.

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