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Jobless rate on the rise

NZN 3/05/2016

The unemployment rate increased in the first three months of the year as the labour force grew at its fastest rate in almost 12 years.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.7 per cent in the March quarter from a revised 5.4 per cent three months earlier, according to Stats NZ's household labour force survey.

"The total labour force increased by 38,000 people in the March 2016 quarter," said Stats NZ's Jason Attewell.

"This resulted in more New Zealanders in unemployment and employment than three months ago."

The employment rate rose to 65.1 per cent from 64.9 per cent in the quarter as the growth in people employed outstripped the growth of the working-age population.

There are 47,000 more people employed than a year ago.

"Nearly half of the annual employment growth in New Zealand was in the Auckland region. By industry, construction and the professional services each employed 17,500 more people," he said.

The unemployment rate for the same quarter in 2015 was 5.8 per cent.

While employment is growing, wage inflation remains subdued, rising at 0.4 per cent in the quarter for an annual rate of 1.6 percent.

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