New Zealand News

Published on May 13th, 2013 | by john.weir

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New Zealand unemployment rate falls as new jobs rise

New Zealand’s unemployment has dropped sharply, thanks to the Christchurch quake rebuild, but the government’s being urged to do more to create jobs elsewhere in the country.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year, the lowest since March 2010, from a revised 6.8 per cent three months earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand’s Household Labour Force Survey.

The number of people in work climbed by 38,000, or 1.7 per cent.

Much of the strength was driven by Canterbury, where the jobless rate tumbled 21 per cent to 4.3 per cent and the participation rate and employment rates climbed.

Excluding Canterbury, which is rebuilding from its disastrous earthquakes, unemployment around the rest of the country was 6.6 per cent, and sitting at 10 per cent in Northland and 7.3 per cent in Auckland.

“Outside of Christchurch, employment is struggling, particularly in the tradable sector,” Peter Cavanagh, senior client advisor at Bancorp Treasury, said before the report was released.

Labour’s Grant Robertson says the government cannot rely solely on the Canterbury rebuild to fuel job growth.

“That’s not sustainable and it’s not a credible economic plan in anyone’s book.”

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