NZ’s unemployment rate falls its to lowest since pandemic
New Zealand’s unemployment rate has fallen to pre-COVID levels thanks to the government’s efforts to secure the country’s recovery from the global pandemic.
Stats NZ has shown that the country’s unemployment rate fell to 4 per cent from 4.6 per cent, the lowest since December 2019 and lower than The Treasury’s Budget 2021 Update forecasted rate of 5.2 per cent.
Employment rose by 28,000 in June, bringing the total number to 63,000. The average hourly wage also rose to 4 per cent with about $34.76 an hour, contrasting with the country’s 3.3 per cent rise in inflation.
“This positive result shows the Government’s plan is delivering, giving households and businesses the confidence to spend and invest and accelerate the recovery. An extra 63,000 people are in jobs since September 2020, when unemployment peaked at 5.2 per cent,” Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said.
“Our focus remains on accelerating the recovery and dealing with the challenges that a fast-growing economy brings. Our vaccination programme is ramping up and we’ll have more to say on reconnecting to the rest of the world soon, which will provide further confidence to business as they plan ahead.”
The New Zealand Government intends to continue expanding its critical worker scheme after bringing 17,000 people into the country for businesses and other organisations.
Education, skills and training will also be heavily invested upon by the New Zealand Government to help aid in rebuilding the economy.
“The ongoing impact of the pandemic is likely to see unemployment move around a bit. Nevertheless, New Zealand has performed favourably against the countries we measure ourselves against,” Deputy Prime Minister Robertson said.
“On comparable measures, New Zealand’s 4 per cent unemployment rate stands against 5.2 per cent in Australia, 5.9 per cent in the United States and 8 per cent in Canada. The OECD average is 6.6 per cent.”
Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said government programs such as Flexiwage and Apprenticeship Boost have helped assist those who are disadvantaged in the labour market to re-enter the workforce. In fact, over 31,000 that have come off the benefits in the June quarter have been able to enter paid work.
“Today’s figures also show a drop in Māori and Pacific unemployment by 1 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively, as well as a significant drop in the numbers of young people Not in Education, Employment or Training,” Minister Sepuloni said.
“While today’s figures are positive and show our plan is working, we know we have more work to do.”