|Recently released data from Stats NZ showed that 94,000 more people in New Zealand were in employment in Q2 2018 compared to Q2 2017 – an annual growth rate of 3.7%, exceeding the 3.1% (79,000) rise in the previous quarter.
Commenting on the statistics, Employment Minister Willie Jackson said New Zealand has one of the highest rates of employment in the world, adding: “Young people’s prospects look much better. Our rate of young people aged 15-24 not in employment, education or training (NEETs) fell from 12.4% to 10.9% in Q2.
“We’ve seen the highest employment rate for women on record this quarter at 62.8%. Annually, 54,000 more women were employed and the unemployment rate for women is the lowest since December 2008.
“We’ve also seen the highest employment rate on record for Māori. In fact, all data for Māori is positive, with Māori unemployment and the number of Māori NEETs falling in Q2.
“The overall number of people entering the labour force rose in June, contributing to a slight uptick in the unemployment rate from 4.4% to 4.5%, but this came as employment growth remained strong and kept pace with the working-age population.
“Our unemployment rate continues to outperform Australia, and our employment rate for people aged 15-64 is the third highest in the OECD at 77.4%.
“Wages also grew in June, with private-sector salary and wage rates up 2.1% annually, with the rise in the minimum wage contributing to this. The Quarterly Employment Survey data for average total weekly earnings for full-time equivalent employees also increased 3.3% from a year ago to $1,207.06.”