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Household Labour Force Survey: June 2010 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  05 August 2010
Commentary

Labour market overview – seasonally adjusted

In the June 2010 quarter, unemployment increased by 19,000 (13.9 percent), up to 159,000. As the total number of people unemployed grew at a faster rate than the total labour force, the unemployment rate rose by 0.8 percentage points, to 6.8 percent. This rise in unemployment follows an unseasonal drop recorded in the March 2010 quarter and indicates a period of volatility in the labour market.

The number of people employed decreased by 6,000 during the June 2010 quarter. This was the result of a decrease in part-time employment, while full-time employment increased slightly over the quarter. Both male and female employment were down over the quarter, with the drop in male employment (0.4 percent) being slightly more than the drop in female employment (0.1 percent). Actual hours worked and usual hours worked increased over the quarter.

The labour force participation rate remained unchanged over the quarter, at 68.0 percent (following a revision to the March 2010 quarter rate). Male labour force participation increased by 0.1 percentage points over the quarter, while female labour force participation decreased by 0.1 percentage points.

 Diagram, The labour market June 2010 quarter,seasonally adjusted figures, quarterly change.

 

Unemployment – seasonally adjusted

In the June 2010 quarter, the number of people unemployed increased by 19,000 (13.9 percent) to 159,000. The number of males unemployed grew by 15,000 (21.2 percent) to 86,000, while the number of unemployed females rose by 4,000 (6.4 percent) to 74,000.

The seasonally adjusted increase in unemployment this quarter follows a decrease in the March 2010 quarter. The seasonally adjusted decrease in the number of people unemployed in the March 2010 quarter was caused by an atypical fall in the number of people unemployed, particularly among young males. In a March quarter, seasonal factors usually cause unemployment to rise. When the typical March quarter seasonal pattern applies, we would normally expect a decrease in the number of unemployed in a June quarter. Due to the atypical nature of the March quarter this decrease has not occurred in the June quarter, and the unusual movements have been accentuated when usual seasonal influences were removed.

Annually, the number of people unemployed increased by 22,000 (16.2 percent). Both male and female unemployment increased, up 15,000 (21.4 percent) for males, and 7,000 (10.6 percent) for females.

The unemployment rate rose by 0.8 percentage points, to 6.8 percent during the June 2010 quarter. This compares with 6.0 percent in the March 2010 quarter and 7.1 percent in the December 2009 quarter. The male unemployment rate increased by 1.2 percentage points to 6.9 percent, while the female unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 6.8 percent.

In annual terms, the unemployment rate is 0.9 percentage points higher than it was in the June 2009 quarter.

The trend series

In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the trend series removes the irregular component from a series. This can help reveal the underlying movement of the series.

The trend series shows that male unemployment increased by 1,000 (1.1 percent) to 84,000 in the June 2010 quarter, while female unemployment decreased by 1,000 (0.9 percent) to 72,000. This resulted in the overall number of people unemployed staying flat over the quarter.

The trend series unemployment rate was unchanged over the quarter, at 6.7 percent.

Graph, Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted and trend, quarterly.

   Graph, Unemployment rate by sex, seasonally adjusted, quarterly.

 

Unadjusted annual movements

The number of people unemployed aged 25–29 years increased significantly over the June 2010 year, up 7,500 to 20,100. The number of males unemployed aged 20–24 years also increased significantly in annual unadjusted terms, up 6,500 to 18,100.

By region, the number of people unemployed increased significantly in Auckland (up 15,000) and in Manawatu-Wanganui (up 3,000).

Employment – seasonally adjusted

Employment decreased by 6,000 (0.3 percent), to 2,170,000 during the June 2010 quarter. This follows a 1.0 percent increase in the March 2010 quarter. Annually, employment fell by 1,000 (0.1 percent).

The decrease in employment over the June 2010 quarter was entirely due to a decrease in part-time employment, down 8,000 (1.6 percent). Full-time employment increased slightly over the quarter, up 3,000 (0.2 percent). In annual terms, part-time employment fell by 3.4 percent while full-time employment rose by 1.0 percent.

Both male and female employment decreased over the quarter. Male employment decreased by 0.4 percent, with drops in both full-time and part-time employment, down 0.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Female employment decreased by 0.1 percent. Female part-time employment decreased by 1.7 percent over the quarter, while female full-time employment increased over the June 2010 quarter by 0.6 percent. Annually, male employment fell by 5,000 (0.5 percent) and female employment rose by 4,000 (0.4 percent).

Graph, Full-time employment, quarterly.

 

Graph, Part-time employment, quarterly.

 

The trend series

The trend series shows a quarterly increase in employment of 6,000 (0.3 percent) and an annual rise of 8,000 (0.4 percent). Male employment was up 4,000 over the quarter and female employment increased by 2,000.

Unadjusted annual movements

In unadjusted annual terms, employment increased for those aged 60–64 years (up 12,900) and for those aged 65 years or older (up 7,100). By region, the number of people employed in Waikato decreased by 15,800, to 190,700, while employment in Otago increased by 16,000, to 116,400.

Compared with the June 2009 quarter, the number of people employed, by industry, has increased in education and training (up 16,300), public administration and safety (up 10,500), and agriculture, forestry, and fishing (up 9,500). Employment decreased notably in the manufacturing industry, down 18,900, as well as in the financial and insurance services industry, down 8,500.

Working-age population – unadjusted

The working-age population grew by 9,200 (0.3 percent) during the June 2010 quarter, and by 49,000 (1.5 percent) during the year, to reach 3,421,300. There was a 2,400 loss from net permanent and long-term migration. This is the first loss recorded since the September 2008 quarter. (See International Travel and Migration: June 2010 for more information.)

In the year to June 2010, the working-age population increased in Northland (by 8.7 percent) and in Otago (by 11.7 percent). The working-age population in the Waikato region decreased 4.3 percent.

Labour force participation – seasonally adjusted

The labour force participation rate remained flat, at 68.0 percent, during the June 2010 quarter (following a revision to the March 2010 quarter rate). Annually, the labour force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage points.

During the June 2010 quarter, the male labour force participation rate increased by 0.1 percentage point, while the female participation rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point. In the year to June 2010, both the male and female labour force participation rates fell.

The total labour force increased by 14,000 (0.6 percent) during the June 2010 quarter. Annually, the labour force has risen by 21,000 (0.9 percent).

Graph, Labour force participation rate, quarterly.  

   

Total hours worked – seasonally adjusted

The total number of actual hours worked per week rose by 0.6 percent during the June 2010 quarter. During the same period, the number of usual hours worked also increased, up 0.7 percent. Annually, the total number of actual hours worked per week rose by 1.3 percent and usual hours worked rose by 1.0 percent.

 Graph, Total hours worked each week, quarterly.

Jobless – unadjusted

The jobless are defined as those people who are either officially unemployed, available but not actively seeking work, or actively seeking but not available for work. Annually, the number of jobless people rose by 19,500 (8.3 percent) to reach 255,700 in June 2010. This increase was driven by the increase in the number of people officially unemployed. The number of jobless, excluding those officially unemployed, actually decreased by 2,300 (2.2 percent) over the year.

Underemployment – unadjusted

The number of underemployed people (employed people who work part-time and would prefer to work more hours) may serve as a measure of under-utilised labour in the economy. Of the 496,900 people employed part-time in the June 2010 quarter, 20.6 percent (102,400) would prefer to work more hours. This compares with 21.1 percent in the March 2010 quarter and 22.2 percent in the June 2009 quarter.

During the June 2010 quarter, 24.7 percent of males working part-time preferred to work more hours, compared with 18.9 percent of females.

Duration of unemployment – unadjusted

On an annual basis, short-term unemployment (those unemployed for 26 weeks or less) increased by 7,900 (8.1 percent), to 105,000. During the same period, the number of long-term unemployed (those unemployed for longer than 26 weeks) increased by 15,500 (70.4 percent), reaching 37,600. Of the total number of unemployed people in the June 2010 quarter, 67.6 percent had been so for 26 weeks or less, while 24.2 percent had been unemployed for longer than 26 weeks.

 

 

 

 

Duration of unemployment (unadjusted)
  June 2009 quarter (000) June 2010 quarter (000)
Short-term unemployment
26 weeks or less

97.1

105.0
Long-term unemployment
Over 26 weeks, but not over one year
Over one year, but not over two years
Over two years
Total long-term unemployment


14.9
  4.9
2.3
 22.1


 24.4
   9.1
   4.1
  37.6
Not specified  14.4   12.8
Total unemployment 133.5 155.3

 

Participation in formal study – unadjusted

In the June 2010 quarter, 322,300 people were participating in formal study, a 3.2 percent increase from the same quarter in 2009. Unemployed people were the most likely to be involved in formal study in the June 2010 quarter, with 16.3 percent participating. This compares with 11.9 percent of people who were not in the labour force, and 7.7 percent of those who were employed.

Ethnic group statistics – unadjusted

Ethnicity series are now published using the single/combination output method of classification. With this method, people are counted just once according to the ethnic group or combination of ethnic groups they have reported. Please refer to the 'Technical notes' section of this release for more information.

Annually, unadjusted unemployment rates increased significantly for the Māori only, Asian only, and the ‘two or more groups not elsewhere included’ ethnic groups. It decreased significantly for the MELAA only group.

Single/combination unemployment rate (unadjusted) by ethnic group
  June 2009 quarter (percent) June 2010 quarter (percent)
 European only  4.0  4.4
 Māori only 12.6 16.4
 Pacific peoples only 12.8 14.1
 Asian only 7.8  10.5
 MELAA only 14.9 9.0
'Other ethnicity' only 3.1  3.3
 European/Māori 10.3 10.2
 Two or more groups not elsewhere included 10.8 16.8
 Note: MELAA = Middle Eastern/Latin American/African

The unemployment rate for all people who identified with the Māori ethnic group (including those who also identified with other groups) was 14.3 percent for the June 2010 quarter. This figure is known as the total response Māori unemployment rate. There has been an increase of 2.3 percentage points since the June 2009 quarter, when the total response Māori unemployment rate was 12.0 percent.

Longer time series

The following graphs show the HLFS series for the number of people employed, the labour force participation rate, and the unemployment rate over a 15-year period. A complete time series from March 1986 onwards is available on request.

 Graph, Employment, quarterly.

 Graph, Labour force participation rate, quarterly, long time series.

 Graph, Unemployment rate, quarterly.

Revision to March 2010 quarter usual hours

Due to a technical error, there has been a small revision to the March 2010 quarter survey series usual hours figure. Total usual hours worked has been revised from 79,279,000 hours to 79,354,000 hours. This revision is within the sampling error and has no material impact on the series.

 

 

For technical information contact: 
Michelle Barnes or Will Bell
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz  

Next release ...

Household Labour Force Survey: September 2010 quarter will be released on 
4 November 2010.

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