Worse to come despite good jobs news, says economist
Page 1 of 2 ....Updated 1:45PM Thursday Nov 06, 2008

New Zealand's unemployment rate increased to 4.2 per cent in the September quarter, the highest rate since the end of 2003, but data released today was less gloomy than expected.

Despite the increase in the unemployment rate, with the total labour force also growing the number of people working was also up slightly, to the highest level since the Household Labour Force Survey started.

Statistics New Zealand's (SNZ) figures showed the seasonally adjusted number of people employed increasing 0.1 per cent in the quarter to 2.17 million, while people unemployed rose 6.3 per cent or 6000 people to 94,000.

The labour force participation rate nudged ahead by 0.1 percentage points in the quarter, to a record-equalling high of 68.7 per cent.

The median predictions of economists in a Reuters poll was for a participation rate of 68.3 per cent, an unemployment rate of 4.3 per cent, and a 0.6 per cent fall in employment for the quarter.

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