The official rate of unemployment fell in the three months to the end of September, despite an increase in the numbers of people recieving the unemployment benefit.
Statistics New Zealand figures released on Thursday show 150,000 people, or 6.4% of the workforce, were out of work at the end of September. That’s a fall of 10,000 from the number unable to find a job at the end of the June quarter.
Unemployment among men fell from 6.9% to 5.7%, but the figure for women rose from 6.8% percent to 7.2% – its highest since December 1998. Hours worked rose, as did the participation rate.
Despite the positive figures, the number of people receiving the unemployment benefit rose by more than 3000 during the same September quarter.
Ministry of Social Development data shows 65,281 people were on the unemployment benefit at the end of September, up from 62,085 at the end of June. Over the same three-month period the total number receiving a government benefit rose about 5000 to 338,212.