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New Zealand real unemployment up 0.6% to 9.4% & a further 11.6% of workforce under-employed – the highest recorded

This Roy Morgan survey on New Zealand’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly interviews covering October – December 2012 and in total 6,164 New Zealanders aged 14 and over were interviewed.

In  the December Quarter 2012 according to Roy Morgan:

  • New Zealand unemployment was 9.4% (up 0.6% since the September Quarter 2012) of the 2,597,000 in the NZ workforce — an estimated 243,000 (up 20,000) were unemployed and looking for work.
  • A further 11.6% (up 2.7% - a record high) of the workforce* were under-employed — that is working part-time but looking for more work — 262,000 (up 36,000) New Zealanders.
  • In total 21.0% of the workforce, or 505,000 (up 56,000) New Zealanders, were either unemployed or under-employed.
  • The latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate of 9.4% is now 2.5% above the 6.9% currently quoted by Statistics New Zealand for the October — December Quarter 2012.
  • Compared to a year ago there are 103,000 more New Zealanders now employed, and unemployment is unchanged from December Quarter 2011 at 9.4%.


Gary Morgan says:

“Today’s Roy Morgan New Zealand real employment estimate shows New Zealand unemployment rising to 9.4% (up 0.6%) in the December Quarter 2012. This rise brings unemployment back to the same level as a year ago during the December Quarter 2011.

“However, New Zealand under-employment has risen to a record high 11.6% (up 2.7%) — a record high 262,000 (up 36,000). This is 14,000 higher than a year ago and means a total of 505,000 (21.0%) New Zealanders are either unemployed or under-employed.

“Despite the rise in unemployment the Roy Morgan NZ employment estimates show overall employment in New Zealand has continued to grow — and is now at a record high 2,354,000 (up 48,000). Employment has now grown in each of the last eight quarters — since the December Quarter 2010. Over the past 12 months, overall employment in New Zealand has increased 103,000 to 2,354,000 (December Quarter 2012).

“Employment in New Zealand consisted of 1,643,000 full-time employees (up 48,000) and 711,000 part-time employees (unchanged). This is the second straight quarter there has been a record high number of full-time employees.

“The Roy Morgan unemployment estimate is now significantly higher than the 6.9% estimate provided by Statistics New Zealand for the December Quarter 2012.”

This Roy Morgan survey on New Zealand’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly interviews covering October — December 2012 and in total 6,164 New Zealanders aged 14 and over were interviewed.

*The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or consultants who are looking for more work.

The Roy Morgan New Zealand Unemployment estimate is obtained by surveying a New Zealand-wide cross section by telephone. An unemployed person is classified as part of the labour force if they are looking for work, no matter when.

The results are not seasonally adjusted and provide an accurate measure of monthly unemployment estimates in New Zealand. The Statistics New Zealand Unemployment estimates are obtained by mostly telephone interviews.

Households selected for the Statistics New Zealand Labour Survey are interviewed each quarter for up to two years (eight interviews), with one-eighth of the sample being replaced each quarter. The first interview is conducted face-to-face. Subsequent interviews are then conducted by telephone.

Statistics New Zealand classifies an unemployed person as part of the labour force only if, when surveyed, they had actively sought work in the past four weeks ending with the reference week and were available for work or had a new job to start within the next four weeks.

Statistics New Zealand Unemployment estimates are also seasonally adjusted. For these reasons the Statistics New Zealand Unemployment estimates are different from the Roy Morgan Unemployment estimate.

There is a similar divergence caused in Australia’s ABS Unemployment estimates and the Roy Morgan Australian Unemployment estimates. Roy Morgan Executive Chairman Gary Morgan's concerns regarding the ABS Unemployment estimate are clearly outlined in his letter to the Australian Financial Review, which was not published. Download Paper.

 For further information: Gary Morgan:  Office +61 3 9224 5213 Mobile +61 411 129 094 Michele Levine: Office +61 3 9224 5215 Mobile +61 411 129 093

New Zealand Unemployment


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