Labour market situation
Get a snapshot of labour market trends in New Zealand in the year to December 2015.
Unemployment rate down to 5.3%
In the year to December 2015:
- the unemployment rate fell to 5.3% – the lowest since March 2009
- 10,000 fewer people were unemployed than in the preceding year
- unemployment rates were lowest in Canterbury (3.9%), and in Southland and Taranaki (both 4.1%)
- employment rose by 1.3% – an increase of 31,000 people.
Construction top industry for growth in employment
Auckland experienced the most growth
In the year to December 2015, about three-quarters of all employment growth came from Auckland (23,100 people).
Outlook: employment growth expected to continue
According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s outlook to 2019:
- employment is forecast to continue growing at an average of 2.1% a year
- the unemployment rate is expected to rise to 6% by March 2017, and then fall to 5% by March 2019
- the strongest employment growth is expected in construction and related industries, with hospitality and tourism, wholesale and retail trade, and business services also growing
- employment growth rates are expected to be highest in Marlborough, West Coast and Otago, with the largest employment increases in Auckland and Canterbury
- highly skilled jobs are expected to increase from 42% to 43% of all jobs and lower skilled jobs are expected to fall from 46% to 45%.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Quarterly Labour Market Scorecard – February 2016', March 2016, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Short-term Employment Forecasts: 2016-2019', March 2016, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
- Statistics New Zealand, 'Labour Market Statistics: December 2015 Quarter', February 2016, (www.stats.govt.nz).
Updated 17 May 2016