New Zealand’s unemployment rate falls to 4% in June quarter
New Zealand’s unemployment rate fell to 4% in its June 2021 quarter, from 4.7% in the preceding quarter as the economy headed towards a recovery trajectory, boosting hiring and jobs.
The number of unemployed people declined by 12.4%, marking the largest quarterly percentage fall in unemployment since Stats NZ’s Household Labour Force Survey began in 1986.
The data also showed a continued fall from its recent peak of 5.3% in the September 2020 quarter.
“The fall in unemployment is largely in line with other labour market indicators, including declining numbers of benefit recipients and increased job vacancies, and recent media reports of labour shortages and skills mismatches,” said Stats NZ work, wealth, and wellbeing statistics senior manager Sean Broughton.
The number of underutilised people also fell sharply over the quarter, declining by 13.3%, or down 48,000 people to reach 315,000, marking the largest quarterly percentage fall since the series began in 2004.
This fall was seen across all three main components of underutilisation (unemployment, underemployment, and the potential labour force) as they declined by roughly equal amounts, said Stats NZ.
“The large decrease in underutilisation shows that spare capacity in the labour market is dwindling, which can potentially result in tighter labour market conditions and lead to upwards pressure on wage rates,” said Broughton.