The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent
this quarter. This is down from 4.4 percent last quarter, and is the lowest since the
June 2008 quarter, more than ten years ago, when it was 3.8 percent.
And while the unemployment rate was lower than market expectations this quarter, New
Zealand has a small economy with a pretty dynamic labour market. We’ve seen other
big movements in 2012 and 2015, so this isn’t unusual.
Labour market indicators also lag behind other economic indicators, and we’ve seen strong
widespread growth throughout 2018. Labour market data is most valuable when placed
in the context of a time series. The trend series, which reveals the underlying direction
of movement, has now fallen for seven consecutive quarters.