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Unemployment rate falls to 6.4 percent
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  04 November 2010

Household Labour Force Survey: September 2010 quarter  –  Media Release

New Zealand’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent in the September 2010 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The unemployment rate in the June 2010 quarter was 6.9 percent.

This quarter’s decrease in the unemployment rate marks a divergence in labour market outcomes for males and females. Female unemployment increased during the quarter, with the female unemployment rate rising to 7.2 percent, from 6.8 percent in the previous quarter. On the other hand, the male unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent during the September 2010 quarter, from 6.9 percent in the June 2010 quarter.

While employment rose for males (by 21,000) and females (by 1,000) in the latest quarter, the number of unemployed males fell by 15,000 and the number of unemployed females rose by 5,000.

Total employment rose by 23,000 in the September 2010 quarter, with increases in both full-time and part-time employment. Actual hours worked per week increased by 0.8 percent, consistent with the rise in employment. During the quarter, the labour force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 68.3 percent.

The earthquake that struck the Canterbury region in September 2010 caused some disruption to interviewing. Statistics New Zealand suspended interviewing in Christchurch city and in the Selwyn and Waimakariri districts for the fortnight following the earthquake. This resulted in the loss of about 300 of the 2,200 households in the survey sample that are from the Canterbury region.

“The loss of some households from the survey sample because of the earthquake has not introduced any bias to estimates,” labour market statistics manager Peter Gardiner said.

The Household Labour Force Survey results are based on a representative sample of 15,000 households throughout New Zealand. The survey is designed to produce estimates of the numbers of people employed, unemployed, and not in the labour force.


Geoff Bascand

4 November 2010

Government Statistician



For media enquiries contact:
Peter Gardiner
Wellington 04 931 4600

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