Strong Employment Growth

Posted by Andrew on November 29, 2013

In the September 2013 quarter, the employment rate increased 0.7 percentage points in seasonally adjusted terms. The number of people employed increased by 27,000. Over the year to September 2013, the number of people employed rose 2.4 percent (54,000 people) to 2,272,000 people. This is the largest annual percentage change since the December 2007 quarter.

The unemployment rate decreased over the quarter, down 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent. This decrease reflected 4,000 fewer people being unemployed. The fall in unemployment was from fewer women unemployed. In seasonally adjusted terms, the unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in the September 2013 quarter – down 0.2 percentage points from 6.4 percent the previous quarter. Over the year, the unemployment rate fell 1.0 percentage point from a peak of 7.2 percent in the September 2012 quarter.

The number of unemployed people fell by 4,000 to 150,000 in the September 2013 quarter. This fall was entirely from a drop in female unemployment – down 4,000. Accordingly, the female unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 6.6 percent over the quarter, while the unemployment rate for men remained unchanged at 5.8 percent. Over the year, the number of people unemployed decreased by 23,000 (13.0 percent).

The drop in unemployment over the year mainly came from a fall in the number of people in long-term unemployment (down 10,400 – 19.0 percent). Long-term unemployment is defined as being unemployed for more than 26 weeks.

The labour force grew by 23,000 people, with the rise in employment greater than the fall in unemployment. The labour force participation rate increased 0.5 percentage points in the quarter, to 68.6 percent.

In the year to September 2013, Auckland employment rose by 55,500 people, while unemployment decreased by 12,000 people. The unemployment rate fell 1.9 percentage points to 6.7 percent over the year to September 2013.

The main contributors to Auckland's employment growth were the retail trade, and accommodation and food services industry group (18,400), and the construction (10,100) and manufacturing (9,200) industries. Of these changes, the rise in retail trade, and accommodation and food services employment was not statistically significant.

The working-age population in Auckland increased over the year. The growth in employment was larger than the growth in the working-age population. This meant the employment rate increased to 63.4 percent over the year, up from 62.4 percent in the September 2012 quarter.