Indicators predict unemployment to sit about 7%

New Zealand's unemployment rate was likely to keep ''bouncing around'' 7% for the next six months, ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said yesterday.

Releasing the ANZ Job Ads series, Ms Zollner said the series, which summed up newspaper and internet ads, rose 0.7% in March, on top of a 1.8% rise in February.

The monthly lift was driven by a 1.9% rise in internet job advertising, building on a February rise. The number of newspaper job advertisements fell by 6.2%, following on from a fall the previous month.

Regional disparities remained marked, she said.

Newspaper ads rose in Wellington after a sharp February fall, but fell for the other six newspapers measured in Auckland, Canterbury, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Otago and Waikato.

''This is the first monthly rise in Wellington in five months and it remains clearly the weakest of the main centres, while Canterbury is the strongest.''

As a percentage of total national newspaper advertising, Canterbury job ads had risen from 27% of national newspaper advertising before the earthquakes to about 25%.

Annual growth in job advertising in Canterbury has consistently outpaced the rest of the country since early 2011, Ms Zollner said.

Online advertising rose in all main centres in March.

At the national level, the ANZ focused on a weighted ''composite'' job ads series which had been calibrated to better match changes in the Household Labour Force Survey unemployment rate.

The calibration placed more weight on newspaper advertisements ahead of online ads, by a ratio of five to one.

Over time, internet job advertising had taken market share from newspapers but not on a one-to-one basis, she said.

The composite measure tracked changes in the unemployment rate closely, with a six-month lead.

The ANZ composite measure fell 1.9% in March after a flattish February and indicated unemployment remaining at about 7% for the next six months.

 

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