2016 – Ongoing jobless tally



Unemployment logo


Continued from: 2015 – Ongoing jobless tally

So by the numbers, for this year;

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*NB: actual rate for Dec 2014/Jan 2015 Quarter should be 5.7%, not 5.8% as depicted in above column. See Stats NZ data here.


September 2015 quarter – Employment & Unemployment


statistic nz - september 2015 quarter - unemployment.

Labour market at a glance

  • Number employed fell for the first time in three years.
  • Unemployment rate increased to 6.0 percent.
  • Labour force participation rate falls further from record high in March 2015 quarter.
  • Annual wage inflation remained at 1.6 percent.


Additional analysis;

  1. The Employment Rate fell 0.5%
  2. According to the HLFS, Total actual weekly hours worked increased over the last Quarter by  +0.4, and  Annually, by +1.5

Which means fewer people are working longer hours to sustain economic growth.


December 2015 quarter – Employment & Unemployment


unemployment - december 2015 quarter - Statistics NZ


Labour market at a glance

  • Unemployment rate falls to 5.3 percent.
  • Labour force participation rate falls for third consecutive quarter.
  • Employment growth rises to 0.9 percent for the quarter.
  • Annual wage inflation lowest since March 2010.


Additional analysis;

However, there was also a fall in the number of people looking for work, which also contributed to the lower jobless rate.

The jobless rate fell to its lowest level since 2009, with strong growth in the construction, retail and hospitality sectors.

Job growth was strong in the Auckland region as well as Wellington and Manawatu.

But the data also showed 14,000 people had stopped looking for work for various reasons, even though the size of the workforce had increased, driven by record immigration.

This led to a fall in the participation rate – the number either in work or looking for work – which Statistics New Zealand said also reflected people who had left the labour force, such as the retired.

But an economist said the fall in participation did not tally with growth in jobs and raised doubts about the reliability of the jobs data.

“The HLFS (household labour force survey) has long had questions over its accuracy given that there have often been cases where large ‘surprises’ such as today’s outcome are thrown up. Those questions will linger today,” ANZ senior economist Philip Borkin said.



Other Economic Info


ANZ Economic Outlook

The economy has reasonable momentum heading into 2016. Risks include the weather, the global scene, low export prices and deteriorating structural metrics, but there are reasons for cautious optimism too. Respectable growth should see the unemployment rate begin to fall again by late 2016 although questions remain over inflation dynamics. While we expect an extended period of OCR stability, low inflation keeps the bias to the downside.

Full Report here.

CTU Economic Bulletin 175 – Jan 2016

The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will be signed by the trade ministers of 12 countries in Auckland on 4 February. So this is a good time to look at the economic evaluations of the agreement. Politicians and lobbyists use these to find large-sounding numbers to throw around. Turn on the garbage filter you use when a door–to–door salesman knocks.

The identifiable gains are tiny. For New Zealand, the gains that have a robust case are 0.2 percent of GDP. They are puffed up to something bigger by including deregulation (removal of “non-tariff measures”) as positive. That risks removing some of the protections for health, safety, financial security, quality services and so on is counted as a gain on the basis that it creates more commercial opportunities.

MFAT commissioned a model that estimated a 1.4 percent gain by 2030 which it reduced to 0.9 percent because of concerns about the way these non-tariff measures are modelled. This would mean that the economy would grow by 47.9 percent by 2030 instead of 47 percent – a difference on the margins of being able to be reliably measured.

Full Report here.

Building Consents – Statistics NZ


  • 24 September 2015: Fonterra Co-operative Group lifted its forecast total available for payout for the 2015/16 season to $5.00 − $5.10 kgMS due to an increase in the forecast Farmgate Milk Price of 75 cents
  • 14 October 2015: Standard and Poor’s  downgraded Fonterra’s  credit rating from A to A-
  • 28 January 2016: Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited reduced its forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2015/16 season from $4.60 per kgMS to $4.15 per kgMS.

Westpac Economic Overview – 2 February 2016

The only compelling mark against OCR cuts is recent signs of strength in the New Zealand economy. A plethora of recent data, including last week’s Services PMI, have shown that the local economy has plenty of zing at the moment. This is partly due to accelerating construction activity. And if last week’s building consent numbers are anything to go by, there is plenty more to come in that front.

Nationwide residential dwelling consent issuance has risen 10.2% over the past three months, which is incredibly strong when one considers that the residential part of the Canterbury rebuild is now flat. Commercial buildings are also being consented at a higher rate, up 16% over the past year. Furthermore, the Government’s announcement that it will bring forward planned infrastructure spending will further boost the construction sector.

Full Report here.




Addendum1: Under-employment

The  under-employment stats;

People who are underemployed are those who work part-time, would prefer to work more hours, and are available to do so. In unadjusted terms, the number of underemployed grew by 12 percent over the year. While the number of part-time workers increased over the year, the ratio of people underemployed to employed part-time also rose – from 17.1 percent in June 2013 to 18.7 percent this quarter.

Official under-employment: up


Jobless: people who are either officially unemployed, available but not seeking work, or actively seeking but not available for work. The ‘available but not seeking work’ category is made up of the ‘seeking through newspaper only’, ‘discouraged’, and ‘other’ categories.

Under-employment: employed people who work part time (ie usually work less than 30 hours in all jobs) and are willing and available to work more hours than they usually do.

Employed: people in the working-age population who, during the reference week, did one of the following:

  • worked for one hour or more for pay or profit in the context of an employee/employer relationship or self-employment 

  • worked without pay for one hour or more in work which contributed directly to the operation of a farm, business, or professional practice owned or operated by a relative 

  • had a job but were not at work due to: own illness or injury, personal or family responsibilities, bad weather or mechanical breakdown, direct involvement in an industrial dispute, or leave or holiday.


Addendum2: Other Sources

Statistics NZ:  Household Labour Force Survey

Addendum3: Definitions

“Labour force participation rate”  –   the total labour force expressed as a percentage of the working-age population. Labour force participation is closely linked to how the working-age population is defined.



To  be periodically up-dated.



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  1. Given that the unemployment rate during the Great Depression was between 25 -20%, how are we looking if you include all those displaced by statistical dissembling Frank?

    • Most of us care more about the state of one particular job: our own. How relevant is this latest bit of data to that? Not very.

      To better understand the trends in the work environment most likely impact our own paycheck, it will help to look at another bewilder similar to our fuzzy groundhog friend: Fontera

      Fontera, a once-important pioneer in the transition to a value add economy,’ is once again showing us where the future of work is.

      Unfortunately, like the health of Fonteras dairy business over the past year, it’s not a pretty picture.

      No longer do workers expect (or in many cases, aspire) to work for a single company for their entire careers. And with the cost efficiencies offered by automation, outsourcing, temporary workers, and related trends, companies are much more inclined to view their workers as expendable and/or easily replaceable, especially when facing a business downturn.

      We’ve seen this dynamic play out in spades since the 08 credit crisis. Companies immediately shed workers in droves as the economy slowed down. But as things stabilized by 2010 and then the “recovery” of 2012-2014 sent Fonteras profits soaring, the pace of hiring displaced workers back has been nothing short of anemic.

      And of the jobs that have been added over the past five years, the majority have been temporary jobs. Read that as “Low Pay/No Benefits” jobs.

      You can look into any business and find high staff turn over.

    • Ask the 600,000 who were last registered as pissing off to Australia… of which at least half that number are permanent residents/citizens over there.

      There’s a reason why they voted with their feet over the last 32 years and left the country. And while stats may say one thing , tangible blatant evidence speaks even louder.

      No matter what bullshit Key and his govt depts try to spin us – we STILL have an inferior economic base than Australia and our wages are STILL years out of date.

      No wonder granny Herald has to to concoct bullshit glowing story’s of Australians coming over here and saying how wonderful it is – it might be for the corporate crowd but for the rest of us its still just a cynical neo liberal theft of cash out of the back pockets of the average working person.

      And that’s evidence enough.

      As for unemployment?

      Lat census found 50% of Auckland is now Asian immigrants. Might be the hard truths but there is one factor for a kick off. The other factors are small businesses – are competing for an ever decreasing slice of the economic pie – hell! – this govt cant even get off its arse and rectify the housing crisis with rock solid land allocations – and not unless some foreign outfit comes over here and brings out its own workers…

      Any way you cut it, seasonal workers or no ,… stats by this and other neo liberal govts have been bodgied round with so far it’d make a bookkeeper blush.

  2. Ha!!!!……doesn’t matter what stats are out there – we’re still all ( many of us in the workforce that is ) working for a minimum wage in this lie we call neo liberalism .

    Its a never ending source of grim amusement to see politicians and right wing posters on this site trying to argue greater prosperity under neo liberalism.

    This black and white truth in itself is obvious to any layman and automatically makes a mockery of anything the right wing neo liberal has to say on the matter.

    A minimum wage economy is an indictment right from the kick off of the lie that is the neo liberal economic theory that it brings prosperity to any but the already rich. Now how about we really upset the greedy bastards and campaign to rid ourselves of the Employment Contracts Act…or its amended version the Employment Relations Act – which was only given a name change to sound more socially acceptable.

    Then we’d hear the Rogernomes squeal with terror – no more ripping off of the commons wealth and ‘sucking off the public tit’ , eh what ?

    No more siphoning off the public purse and while we’re at it – throw em all in court , – all known neo liberal politicians ,bankers and business leaders who were involved and charge em with treason. Then force em to pay 32 years in back payments to every worker and retiree who was ever ripped off by substandard wages and means testing for pensions because of their disgusting treachery made into legislation.

    We could start with the NZ Institute – what used to be called your friendly conniving Business Roundtable. Then move on to the Rogernomes in both National and Labour.

    That’d make the lying bastards howl.

  3. Oh ,…and by the way – those backpayments also include every beneficiary that was ever forced to accept the indignity and humiliation of Richardsons and Shipleys inhumane and demeaning cuts.

    Its time old scores are evened up – after all – the neo liberal used to love to lecture us on a ‘ level playing field ‘. Well lets start evening up the field , then , shall we? .

    And if some mealy mouthed neo liberal sycophant comes on here to do their usual rant – lets ask them why is it that employers could afford to pay better wages before 1984 than the shit wages so many of them get away with paying now if neo liberal economics is so bloody shit hot for us all – their response would be laughable and only highlight the total and abject lie of the neo liberal con job.

    Perhaps we could start by making damn sure the rich pay their way and pay their correct amount of taxes. That’d be a start. No more bludging off the public – or their good will.

    Its time for the drums to start beating.

  4. Thanks for the running tally, Frank. It’s one of the regular pieces I look forward to on The Daily Blog.

  5. I know lots of good youbg and not so young people with good educations who want to work in reasonable jobs, but they want and need the certainty of a 40 hour working week, and a wage which will allow them to pay their way and have some savings. Surely we are better to have this in our economy as those workers need to spend the biggest part of their income to live. They may not ever become a billionaire but they are the people on whom the whole economy revolves and survives.

  6. Nasty NatZ are always massaging the numbers and hide the negative numbers like an over keen accountant using “Creative accounting” as it is so called.

    We are ruled by a overbearing Goldman Sachs accounting that is designed to eventually bankrupt NZ like GS did when they used the same technique on Greece, so we are in for a rough time.

    Great work always Frank again, we are so impressed by your clarity with statistics mate.

  7. I wonder what’s happening for disabled poor who can’t get health care or help to return to work, so left rotting on welfare? Do we come under any unemployment statistics – because I WOULD WORK IF ACC AND OTHERS DID WHAT THE LAW SAID!

    I know my daughters are both struggling to change jobs because all there is around is part-time work and they can’t afford to do work like that. I know several of their friends, who were good at school, are struggling to get anything more than part-time supermarket or café work.

    This is not sustainable, you cannot spend 30yrs advancing the rich, driving decent jobs overseas and persecuting poor. People’s rage over TPPA has underlying cause and more people are ignored worse violence is going to get.

    Our news is looking more like America’s every day we following this radicalised form of capitalism/globalism. This isn’t what NZers want, but this is what deceipt, corruption, unemployment and under-employment creates.

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