New Zealand: Unemployment ticks down in Q1
The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate edged down to 4.2%, from Q3’s 4.3%, as had been expected by market analysts. The downturn reflected lower growth in the number of unemployed people, especially among men, as a share of growth in the labor force.
In addition, the underutilization rate—which includes both unemployment and underemployment—decreased from 12.1% in Q4 to 11.3% in Q1, pointing to a fall in the labor market’s untapped capacity. Meanwhile, private sector wages rose 0.3% in Q1 on a quarter-on-quarter basis, below Q4’s 0.5% increase. All told, wage pressures are starting to build, albeit at a gradual pace.