Jobless rate falls 0.6% to 6%

Unemployment is down, but is still a concern, in the latest quarterly snapshot of Dunedin's economic performance.

The Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor for Dunedin, covering the year to June, showed unemployment had dropped by 0.6%, to 6%.

That was despite softening national growth expectations, but still put Dunedin well above the national unemployment rate, which stood at 4.1%.

Dunedin's GDP was up 2.3% during the period, compared with a 3.1% increase for Otago and a 2.5% increase across New Zealand.

Average house values in Dunedin were also up 12.1% at $447,000, while sales grew 1.9%.

Income from tourism in Dunedin was also up 2% at $771million, but guest nights were down 3.5%, compared with a 1.3% increase across New Zealand.

Dunedin City Council Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said he was happy with the "steady performance" of Dunedin's economy.

The "relatively high" level of unemployment was a concern, but job creation in the city was expected to continue to reduce the jobless figures, he said.

The "robust" housing market in Dunedin also came at a cost, by placing pressure on the city's affordable housing supply, he said.

Workers coming into the city for the new Dunedin Hospital build and other projects would only add to that pressure, he said.

"This underscores the importance of the work the council is doing to address shortages."

It was likely the drop in guest nights in Dunedin over the past year reflected the staging of Ed Sheeran concerts and other large-scale events last year, he said.


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