New Zealand’s jobless rate holds at 3.3%, employment jumps

Published Wed, Nov 2, 2022 · 07:12 AM

NEW Zealand’s jobless rate held at 3.3 per cent in the third quarter even as employment surged 1.3 per cent as more people went looking for work, according to data released by Statistics New Zealand on Wednesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast an unemployment rate of 3.2 per cent and employment growth of 0.5 per cent.

Statistics New Zealand data showed third-quarter seasonally adjusted private sector wages rose 3.8 per cent on the previous year. Wages were up 1.1 per cent on the prior quarter.

“The private sector was the driving force behind the strong annual growth in both the LCI and Quarterly Employment Survey wage measures,” said Darren Allan, international and business performance statistics senior manager at Statistics New Zealand.

Statistics New Zealand added that the labour force participation rate at 71.7 per cent and the employment rate at 69.3 per cent were both the highest rates recorded since the survey began in 1986.

Economists expect the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to raise rates later this month and record private sector wage inflation will likely feed in to expectations that the central bank will raise the rate by a record 75 basis points at the end of November.

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The RBNZ in October lifted interest rates to a seven-year high of 3.5 per cent and promised more pain to come as it struggles to cool red-hot inflation in an overstretched economy. REUTERS

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