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SA's unemployment rate remains unchanged

01 November 2017

Stats SA says the official unemployment rate remained unchanged quarter-to-quarter at 27.7%, However, this is still 0.6 of a percentage point higher compared to the same period previous year.

Unemployment among men dropped to 4.1 per cent, a drop of 0.6 percentage points, while unemployment among women (which tends to be higher than for men) rose 0.4 points to 5.3 per cent.

Statistics New Zealand also publishes an underutilisation figure, created to reflect the number of people who are working, but would like to work more.

New Zealand's unemployment rate decreased more-than-expected in the three months ended September to the lowest level in almost nine years, data from Statistics New Zealand showed Wednesday.

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The labor force participation rate increased to 71.1 percent in the September quarter, as 54,000 more people entered the labor force.

"One of this Government's other priorities is higher wages for all New Zealanders and it's great to see wages lifting due to the recent care and support worker pay equity settlement".

The survey which is household based and collects data on the labour market activities of individuals aged 15 to 64 years - found that unemployment and education continue to drive multidimensional poverty.

When coming to the informal sector employment, the QLFS showed that this increased from 2.4 million in the first quarter of 2008 to 2.7 million in the third quarter of 2017. This rate includes people who wanted to work, but have stopped looking for jobs, increased slightly by 0.2 of a percentage point to 36.8% in the third quarter.

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The jobs figures will be of particular interest to the new coalition government led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's center-left Labour party, which wants to give New Zealand's central bank an employment target. More than 85 percent of the growth in employment was from those employed full time.

Statistics SA also noted that this is still at a record high level last seen in 2003. This is the largest annual increase since the September 2012 quarter.

"With 126,000 people unemployed in New Zealand, we can do better", he said.

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SA's unemployment rate remains unchanged