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Steady job growth lowers unemployment to 5.4% - Joyce

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Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Steven Joyce.
Steven Joyce.

Steady job growth in the September quarter has lowered New Zealand’s unemployment rate to 5.4 per cent in the latest Household Labour Force Survey, the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009.

The HLFS shows an increase of 18,000 people employed in the September quarter and 72,000 over the last year as the economy continues to strengthen following the Global Financial Crisis.

"It’s very encouraging to see the increasing confidence of companies around the country as they build their businesses and hire more people," Mr Joyce says.

"We’ve seen particularly strong recovery in the construction industry in the last year, which has grown by 33,500 jobs across the country.

"It’s also good news for Kiwis that real wages are steadily increasing faster than inflation. The Quarterly Employment Survey shows average hourly earnings up 2.3 per cent for the year compared to an inflation rate of 1 per cent over the same period."

Other highlights include:

The lowest NEET rate for 15-19 year olds since June 2008 at 7.2 per cent.

Particularly strong employment growth in the South Island with 41,000 more people employed in the last year. The South Island unemployment rate is now 3.4 per cent compared to 6.2 per cent in the North Island.

Strong employment growth for women. The number of women in full-time employment rose by 12,000 in the quarter and the number in part-time employment rose by 3,000.

"The New Zealand employment story is one of steady recovery from the very tough days of the Global Financial Crisis," Mr Joyce says.

"The Government will continue to focus on policies that encourage business confidence, investment and job growth right across the New Zealand economy through the Business Growth Agenda and our consistent macroeconomic policies."

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