Statistics NZ has just released some new statistics on unemployment and the headline to their press release says it all: Unemployment rate falls, but little growth in employment.
An analysis by Westpac economists is worth noting:
But most other aspects of today’s report were weaker than expected. Not only was employment up a paltry 0.1% – just enough to keep pace with population growth – but this was purely due to a 3% pickup in volatile part-time jobs. Full-time employment was down 0.8%, the first drop since late 2009. Labour force participation dropped, from 68.4% in September to 68.2%. Hours worked were down 1.4%.
So the new data does not do anything to help the current unemployment figures which show an increase of 96.5 per cent more people on the unemployment benefit in the past three years.
What is unsurprisingly interesting is that:
The regional breakdown does show that localised labour shortages appear to be emerging in Canterbury – on our estimates unemployment in the region is now sitting at 5%, down from 5.5% in September and 6.1% in March.
It’s ironic that unemployment can be at such a high rate in Christchurch when demand for licenced building practitioners alone will reach 1100 per-year over the next five years in the city.
National talks aloud about having a plan and building a brighter future but the statistics do not back up their rhetoric. What are they actually doing about the stagnating unemployment rate?