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Pace of labour market recovery slows

Wednesday 14th April 2010

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The pace of recovery in New Zealand’s labour market slowed last month, according to data from Seek New Zealand, which operates the country’s largest jobs website. 

The Seek Employment Indicator, which measures the balance between supply and demand in New Zealand’s labour market, dropped a seasonally adjusted 5% in March, in its first decline since October, according to the Victoria University-led survey. New job ads fell 0.2% last month, though they are still about a third higher than their trough in July last year.  

“The fall in the Seek index in March 2010 reflects strong growth in applications for new jobs placed on the Seek in the month,” said Peter Sheehan, director at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at VUW. “While this partly reflects the high level of unemployment, it might also reflect a rising tide of job applications (from both those in work and those not working) sparked by improved expectations about the economy and by the increased number of available jobs.” 

New Zealand’s unemployment rate hit an 11-year high 7.3% in the three months ended Dec. 31, and firms’ pared back their hiring expectations in the March National Bank Business Outlook.  

Of the three major centres, Christchurch led the March decline in the index with a 7.2% fall, while Wellington dropped 3.2% and Auckland 3.4%.

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