The unemployment rate increased to 6.0 percent in the September 2015 quarter (up from 5.9 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. At the same time, 11,000 fewer people were employed than in the June quarter. This was the first quarterly fall in employment in three years.
“Until recently, the labour market has been keeping pace with New Zealand's population growth, but in the past three months this has changed,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.
“This quarter also had the largest increase in the number of people outside the labour force since the March 2009 quarter,” Ms Ramsay said.
For the year to the September 2015 quarter, annual employment growth slowed to 1.5 percent, down from 3.0 percent in the year to June 2015.
“Over the year, most growth was in construction,” Ms Ramsay said. “The vast majority of this growth was in Auckland, as construction growth there continued to outpace Canterbury”.
Auckland (11,500 people) and Bay of Plenty (8,100 people) were the two largest contributors to annual employment growth.
Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI), remained at 1.6 percent, compared with annual consumer price inflation of 0.4 percent.