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.