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Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the record number of New Zealanders now in employment, which has reached 2.5 million for the first time.

The latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) shows a 0.8 per cent increase in employment over the past three months, equating to 19,000 additional people now in employment.

137,000 jobs have been created in the past 12 months, while the labour force participation rate has increased 0.4 per cent, to an all-time high of 70.5 per cent. The unemployment rate, meantime has increased to 5.2 per cent.

Wages also grew by 1.6 per cent over the year, taking the average annual wage to $58,700.

“The Government’s comprehensive economic plan is working for families, with record job creation and higher wages to help people get ahead,” says Mr Goldsmith.

“Unprecedented levels of participation and robust job growth show that the New Zealand economy is continuing to grow.”

In the construction, retail, trade and accommodation sectors, there was strong growth with 10,900, and 30,300 more people employed in the past year, respectively.

Other highlights this quarter include:

  • The number of women in full-time employment rose 2.7 per cent.
  • The number of people not in the labour force reduced by 12,000.
  • With working-age population growth of 0.5 per cent, it is the fifth consecutive quarter where employment growth has exceeded population growth.

The rate of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs), has increased to 13.6 per cent, although Statistics New Zealand urges caution as this may reflect the recent redevelopment of the HLFS survey.

“The Government is continuing to focus on delivering more jobs, higher wages, and more opportunities for Kiwis and their families,” Mr Goldsmith says.

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