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Lee Sue Ann, Economist at UOB Group, reviews the latest labour market data in New Zealand.

Key Quotes

“New Zealand’s jobless rate rose to 5.3% in 3Q20 from 4.0% in 2Q20, in line with expectations. This is the highest since late 2016, and the biggest quarterly increase on record. This was in part due to the higher participation rate, which increased to 70.1%, after slumping to a four-year-low of 69.9% in the second quarter, when the lockdown meant people opted against looking for work… Compared to the same period a year ago, employment rose 0.2% y/y, much lower from the revised 1.5% y/y pace in the second quarter, and the weakest growth since mid2013. Meanwhile, private sector wages grew 0.4% q/q in 3Q20, up from 0.2% q/q in 2Q20, as occupations that faced voluntary pay decreases recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels.”

“In terms of hours worked, for the September quarter, 91.4 million actual hours were clocked, bouncing back to almost typical levels, despite the level 3 lockdown in Auckland. The recovery follows the record fall in the June 2020 quarter, when the number of actual hours fell by 9.5 million hours to 83.6 million. This was the biggest quarterly fall seen since the series began.”