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New Zealand’s Employment and Unemployment data for Q1 has been released as follows:

NZ jobs data

  • New Zealand Unemployment Rate Q1: 4.2% (exp 4.4%; prev 4.0%) .
  • Employment Change (Q/Q) Q1: 0.7% (exp -0.2%; prev 0.0%).
  • Employment Change (Y/Y) Q1: 1.6% (exp 0.7%; prev 1.0%).
  • NZD/USD reaction

NZD/USD has been whipsawed in choppy market conditions, trading between 0.6030 and the 0.6070s. Today’s data has helped the kiwi to move touch higher, +0.2% at the time of writing. 

This falls against a backdrop whereby New Zealand is set to exit the lockdown phase and has so far to date show a very healthy scorecard with very encouraging virus containment results, supporting NZD.

Analysts at ANZ Bank explained, in broad-brush strokes, “we’re still in a 0.59/0.60 range and it’s difficult to see that changing ahead of next week’s key MPS/Budget duo, of which all things macro will hang. Unconvinced about the risk recovery, but we’ll see.”

It is also worth noting that the bird will find it hard to gain much traction when there is still the possibility of an OCR cut this year and NZD’s resilience is likely creating some unease within the Bank.

Description of the Unemployment Rate

The Unemployment Rate, released by the Statistics New Zealand, is the number of unemployed workers divided by the total civilian labor force. If the rate is up, it indicates a lack of expansion within the New Zealand labor market. As a result, a rise leads to weaken the New Zealand economy. A decrease of the figure is seen as positive (or bullish) for the NZD, while an increase is seen as negative (or bearish).