Surprise rise in unemployment rate

File photo
File photo
The latest unemployment stats are in - and despite widespread predictions, the rate is up.

Economists had expected the jobs market to have tightened further in the second quarter.

And it was already at a record low for the modern era (post-1985) at 3.2 percent.

The New Zealand dollar has fallen by 0.7 percent to USZ$62.26c immediately after the release.

But this morning, the stats defied expectations to rise slightly to 3.3 percent for the year to June 30.

Meanwhile, wage inflation, measured by the labour cost index (LCI), was 3.4 percent in the year ended June 2022, average ordinary time hourly earnings rose 6.4 percent, Stats NZ said today.

The official unemployment rate is measured by StatsNZ's Household Labour Force Survey.

"The June quarter had the largest increase in LCI salary and wages rates since late 2008," StatsNZ business employment insights manager Sue Chapman said.

"Over the year, a steadily increasing number of wages have been raised to better match market rates, as well as attracting or retaining staff," she added.

"Nearly two-thirds of roles surveyed in the LCI saw an increase in ordinary time wage rates in the year ended June 2022, the highest level since this series began in 1993."

Annually, the number of people who were away from work for a full week due to sickness, illness, or injury nearly doubled up to 55,000.

The seasonally-adjusted number of unemployed people reached 96,000, compared with 94,000 last quarter.

That compared to around 100,000 people currently on Jobseeker (work ready) benefits.

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