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New Zealand Q2 Unemployment Rate Sinks To 4.0%

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The jobless rate in New Zealand came in at a seasonally adjusted 4.0 percent in the second quarter of 2020, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.

That was down from 4.2 percent in the three months prior and well shy of expectations for 5.8 percent.

The employment change showed a loss of 0.4 percent on quarter versus expectations for a drop of 2.0 percent following the 1.0 percent increase in the previous three months.

For men, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent, down from 4.0 percent last quarter. For women, the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent, up from 4.3 percent.

The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed people fell to 111,000 (down 6,000) as 7,000 fewer men were unemployed and 1,000 more women were unemployed.

The participation rate came in at 69.7 percent, missing forecasts for 69.8 percent and down from 70.5 percent in the first quarter.

For men, the labor force participation rate fell to 74.8 percent, down from 75.5 percent last quarter. For women, the labor force participation rate fell to 64.9 percent, down from 65.6 percent last quarter.

The seasonally adjusted underutilization rate rose to 12.0 percent this quarter, up from 10.4 percent last quarter. For men, the underutilization rate rose to 9.4 percent, up from 8.3 percent. For women, the underutilization rate rose to 14.9 percent, up from 12.7 percent.

In second quarter, 81.4 million actual hours were worked. This was 9.3 million hours (10.3 percent) less than hours worked last quarter and 8.2 million hours (9.1 percent) less than hours worked in the June 2019 quarter.

The labor cost index all salary and wage rates (including overtime) increased 2.1 percent on year. Private sector wages increased by 1.7 percent over the year and public sector wages increased by 3.0 percent over the year.

On a quarterly basis, salary and wage rates (including overtime) rose by 0.2 percent
Average hourly earnings (including overtime) in each sector increased by 2.5 percent over the year.

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