Friday, July 19, 2024

New Zealand’s unemployment rate registered at 3.9% in Q3

New Zealand’s unemployment rate was 3.9 per cent in the September quarter, compared with 3.6 per cent last quarter, according to the statistics department Stats NZ on Wednesday.

“The unemployment rate increased over the past year, up from 3.2 percent in the September 2022 quarter,” Xinhua news agency quoted Stats NZ work and wellbeing senior manager Victoria Treliving as saying.

The underutilisation rate was 10.4 percent in the September 2023 quarter, which compared with 9.9 per cent for the previous quarter, and 8.9 per cent from the previous year, Treliving said, adding underutilisation is a broader measure of spare labour market capacity than unemployment alone.

“Increases in unemployment and underutilisation over the year indicate increasing spare capacity in the labour market following competitive labor market conditions in 2021 and 2022,” Treliving said.

Underutilisation grew the most among young adults, as youths aged 15-24 years accounted for half the total rise in underutilisation over the year.

Compared with the rest of the population, 15-24-year-olds tend to have higher rates of underutilisation.

In the September 2023 quarter, the underutilisation rate was 27 per cent for those aged 15-24, compared with 7.1 per cent for the rest of the population, Treliving said.

New Zealand’s annual wage cost inflation was 4.3 per cent in the year to the September 2023 quarter, unchanged from last quarter, according to Stats NZ.

The annual wage increase was driven by an increase to public sector salary and wages, up a record high of 5.4 per cent annually, which was influenced by collective agreements for teachers, nurses, and the New Zealand Defense Force over the past year, Stats NZ business prices delivery manager Bryan Downes said.

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