Unemployment to rise in 2008
6.40am Friday November 3, 2006

The Labour Department is expecting New Zealand's unemployment rate to rise to 4.4 per cent by early 2008.

In its latest labour market outlook, the department said that despite an easing during the next year, employment growth was expected to remain positive, and it projected 1 per cent growth for the March 2007 year.

The easing in employment growth was in line with a slowdown in the wider economy since mid-2005.

The department forecast the unemployment rate would rise from the June quarter's 3.6 per cent - equal lowest since the Household Labour Force Survey began in 1985 - to 4 per cent in the March 2007 quarter and 4.4 per cent a year later.

It picked the labour force participation rate, which rose to an all-time high of 68.8 per cent in the June quarter, to be at 68.3 per cent in the March 2008 quarter.