The Otago unemployment and employment figures continue to
fluctuate because of seasonal factors, but it does appear
some people in the region are struggling to find work and
have ruled themselves out of the count.
Statistics New Zealand figures released yesterday show
121,300 people were employed in the region at the end of June
and 5900 people were out of work, giving a total of 127,200
and an unemployment rate of 4.6%, seasonally unadjusted
compared with 5.2% in March.
The number of people saying they are not in the labour force
has steadily increased since December, when there were
51,100, to 54,000 in March and 56,900 in June.
In the corresponding period, the working-age population in
December was 186,100 in December, 182,500 in March and
184,100 in December.
The region's participation rate has fallen from 72.5% in
December, to 70.4% in March and 69.1% in June.
In the past, Otago's fluctuating figures have been put down
to the timing of tertiary institute holidays, fruit picking
work in Central Otago, and seasonal farming work such as
But a review of the trend in the past few years shows despite
the generous sampling errors given by Statistics NZ, some
Otago people have now either moved into training, further
study or are staying at home for various reasons.