New Zealand: Unemployment rises to highest level in over a year
May 3, 2012
In the first quarter, the economy created 9,000 jobs in seasonally adjusted terms, which followed on the revised 4,000 jobs gained in the fourth quarter (previously reported: +3,000 jobs). The quarterly figure reflected a gain of 13,000 part-time jobs, while 4,000 full-time jobs were lost, which, nonetheless, represented an improvement compared to the 12,000-job drop recorded in the previous quarter. Despite the modest gain in the labour market, the unemployment rate rose to a seasonally adjusted 6.7% in the first quarter, which overshot both the revised 6.4% rate recorded in the previous quarter (previously reported: 6.3% quarter-on-quarter) and market expectations that had the unemployment rate falling to 6.3%. The Q1 jobless rate marked the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2010. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand expects the unemployment rate to fall to 5.6% by the end of this fiscal year (ending March 2013) and to drop further to 4.8% in fiscal 2013.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist