New Zealand: Labour market remains weak in final quarter of 2012
February 7, 2013
In the fourth quarter, the economy lost 23,000 jobs in seasonally adjusted terms, which was more than double the revised 10,000 job lost recorded in the third quarter (previously reported: -8,000 jobs). The result, which represents the largest job loss since the first quarter of 2009, reflected a sharp decline in part-time employment, which was not compensated by a slight gain in full-time jobs.
Despite the deterioration observed in the labour market, the unemployment rate fell from a seasonally adjusted 7.3% in the third quarter to 6.9% in the fourth quarter, exceeding market expectations that had the unemployment rate falling to 7.1%. According to the national statistics office, "although the unemployment rate fell, it is still 0.5 percentage points higher than a year ago".
In its December Monetary Policy Statement, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand expects the unemployment rate to rise to 7.1% by the end of fiscal year 2012 (ending March 2013) and to drop to 5.9% in fiscal 2013 (ending March 2014).
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions