Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

Un­em­ploy­ment has dropped back be­low 5 per cent, after the New Zealand econ­omy added al­most 10,000 jobs a month at the start of 2017. For the time be­ing at least, most of those jobs ap­pear to be go­ing to men. Fig­ures from Sta­tis­tics New Zealand showed the num­ber of peo­ple em­ployed in New Zealand rose by 29,000 in the first three months of the year. While the labour force also swelled on the back of record net mi­gra­tion, the over­all change saw 6000 fewer peo­ple un­em­ployed, with the un­em­ploy­ment rate drop­ping from 5.2 per cent to 4.9 per cent. The fall was driven by a sharp fall in un­em­ploy­ment for men. Al­though the un­em­ploy­ment rate for men has tended to be lower than that of women, the gap is now the largest it has been in at least a decade.

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