Continued from: 2015 – Ongoing jobless tally
So by the numbers, for this year;
*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
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.
- The Employment Rate fell 0.5%
- 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
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.
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
- June 2015: 2,042 new dwellings
- July 2015: 2,824 new dwellings
- August 2015: 2,291 new dwellings
- September 2015: 2,242 new dwellings
- December 2015: 2,538 new dwellings
- 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.
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
“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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