New Zealand’s unemployment has fallen to its lowest level on record, matching that in December 2007, as the government’s actions to support the economy during the pandemic resulted in higher wages and more people in work, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said Wednesday.
According to the statistics department Stats NZ, the unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent in the September quarter from 4 percent in the June quarter, down 18,000 to 98,000 classed out of work. The last time when it was under 100,000 was in the September 2008 quarter.
Employment rose by 54,000 in the quarter, with women accounting for 39,000 of that. The employment rate for women was 64.6 percent, the highest rate ever recorded for Kiwi women, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said in a statement.
The total number of people in work is now 115,000, higher than that in the December 2019 quarter, before COVID-19, Sepuloni said.
New Zealand’s employment rate is now the third-highest in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the OECD average is 6 percent, said Robertson, who is also finance minister.
The average hourly wage rose 3.5 percent to 35.25 NZ dollars (25.12 U.S. dollars) an hour, statistics show.
“The fall in the unemployment rate is in line with reports of difficulty finding workers and high labour turnover, and continued travel restrictions on international arrivals, which put pressure on domestic labour supply,” Stats NZ’s wellbeing statistics senior manager Becky Collett said in a statement. (ANI/Xinhua)