Unemployment has been gradually falling since 2012, despite record gains from net migration.

A surge in the number of jobs in the New Zealand economy has the Opposition calling on the Government to review its stance on immigration.

On Wednesday Statistics New Zealand figures showed unemployment fell to 4.6 per cent, the lowest in almost nine years. The survey showed that the economy added more than 100,000 in a year.

Covering the three months to the end of September, marking the final weeks of National's nine years in office.

National finance spokesman Steven Joyce said large parts of the country now had unemployment below 4 per cent, and some parts were below 3 per cent, meaning the economy was "getting close towards full employment".

"You really are getting short of people. It's important the new Government recognises that and is aware that if they follow through with their migration policy, that would actually choke off growth in some regions of the country."

A large number of industries were reporting difficulty finding staff, Joyce said, and even Labour had hinted at needing to use migration to fill plans to increase construction levels.

"I'd invite them to cut to the chase and say 'we need skilled migration to keep up the growth in the New Zealand economy'."

Participation in the labour force rose to 71.1 per cent, while the employment rate rose to 67.8 per cent, both record highs.

The number of people unemployed stood at 126,000, which is actually slightly higher than the number unemployed back at the end of 2015, but now the workforce is substantially larger with another 221,000 people employed.

Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomed the lower unemployment rate, but said more could be done. The unemployment rate for Maori (9.9 per cent) and Pacific peoples (9.4 per cent) was "completely unacceptable" Jackson said.

"It is currently around three times higher than that of New Zealand Europeans, and this must improve."
Jackson promised talks with "relevant organisations" such as unions, iwi and Business New Zealand in the coming weeks.

"Partnering with them will be a key component in shaping a forward focused employment policy which improves outcomes for all New Zealanders."

Wednesday's release showed contrasting employment fortunes for men and women.

20171102Unemployment Source: Statistics NZ

Unemployment among men dropped to 4.1 per cent, a drop of 0.6 percentage points, while unemployment among women (which tends to be higher than for men) rose 0.4 points to 5.3 per cent.

For Maori, unemployment fell to 9.9 per cent, the lowest rate since 2008, while unemployment in the Pacific peoples category dropped to 9.4 per cent.

Regionally, unemployment is lowest in an area covering Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and the West Coast at 2.2 per cent, down from 2.8 per cent a year ago.


Statistics New Zealand also publishes an underutilisation figure, designed to reflect the number of people who are working, but would like to work more.

The figure has taken on a higher importance in recent weeks, after the new Labour-led Government ordered a review of whether measures of unemployment were appropriate for current conditions.

Although the Government does not appear to have commented on the review publicly, the review appears to stem from NZ First leader Winston Peters concern that the unemployment figure may paint a flattering picture of the job market.

In the September quarter, the underutilisation rate was 11.8 per cent, down from 12.3 per cent a year ago.

Care workers' settlement

The figures showed that the labour cost index rose 1.9 per cent in the year to September 30, the largest increase since 2012. 

Statistics NZ said the figures were significantly affected by care and support workers' pay equity settlement.

"The settlement for 55,000 care and support workers was a key driver for the latest quarter's wage growth," Statistics NZ senior manager Jason Atwell said.

"Most carers are women working in private sector health care as community and personal service workers - the areas in which we're seeing the biggest impact."



Decline Rates EWV

Latest decline rates from BMB in the Entrepreneur Work Visa type applications is still pretty high!!!

Allocation times BMB

Current allocation times for EWV's is approximately 8 to 9 months. Successrate around 20 to 30% only!

IPT Report 2017

Please click here for some interesting reading noting that on average still 33% of Appeals with the IPT is allowed! This does not take into account those people who have returned to their country not knowing about the Appeal process or not wishing to lodge an Appeal. Interesting question you could ask yourself: what does that say about the quality of a Decision from INZ?

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