Gisborne's jobless figures halved

GISBORNE'S unemployment rate has been cut in half, indicating a dramatic turnaround in fortunes, new statistics suggest.

The latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) issued by Statistics New Zealand, which combines Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, gave a combined unemployment rate of 5.8 percent at the end of the June quarter (down from 7.6 percent) but provisional estimates provided to The Gisborne Herald by Statistics NZ show that when taken separately, Gisborne’s unemployment rate has recently halved, falling to 4.4 percent, down from 8.8 percent, at the end of March.

The figures, which Statistics NZ pointed out were “below design level” and should be treated as indicative only, estimate that 1300 people in Gisborne are unemployed, compared to 2600 at the end of the first three months of the year.

They also indicate Gisborne has gone from having the nation’s highest unemployment rate to the nation’s lowest (jointly with Waikato).

That is 100 fewer unemployed than at the same time last year, when the June unemployment rate was 1 percent higher.

Unemployed people are those who are available to work, and who either actively seek work or have a new job to start within the next four weeks.

The figures also show more people in work, with the region’s employment rate rising to 70.2 percent from 67.3 percent, while the number of people employed rose by 1400 to 28,300.

Gisborne’s total estimated workforce rose 100 to 29,600 and the number of people not in the workforce fell to 10,500 — 200 fewer than at the end of March.

High participation rate

The figures also estimate Gisborne has a labour force participation rate of 73.4 percent.

The figures were welcomed by the region’s economic development agency and come on the back of a period of growth for some of the region’s key industries.

“The June quarter figures for Gisborne make great reading, even if Stats NZ have said they are indicative only,” said Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen.

“The quarter covers the busy harvest season, which might, in part, explain the figures. However, the region has experienced a period of sustained growth, leading the country at one point, so it is reasonable to expect this growth reflected in better employment outcomes.

“The longer-term employment forecast for the region in key employment sectors such as horticulture, forestry and transport/logistics is still showing job growth, which means more competition for labour, and it reinforces the importance of employers investing in our youth to maintain their workforce, given the backdrop of low national unemployment figures emerging.”

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith said the figures showed the national unemployment rate of 4.8 percent was now at the lowest level since the start of the global financial crisis.

“Our strong economy continues to deliver for New Zealanders,” Mr Goldsmith said.

Labour force participation remains high at 70 percent.

“Particularly pleasing is the reduction in the number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).

“The rate fell to 11.1 percent, down from 12.7 percent in the previous quarter.

“The number of women who are NEET is at the lowest level on record.

“Today’s release shows the Government’s comprehensive economic plan is delivering for families, with lower unemployment, continued strong job creation and more opportunities for young people to get ahead.”

GISBORNE'S unemployment rate has been cut in half, indicating a dramatic turnaround in fortunes, new statistics suggest.

The latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) issued by Statistics New Zealand, which combines Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, gave a combined unemployment rate of 5.8 percent at the end of the June quarter (down from 7.6 percent) but provisional estimates provided to The Gisborne Herald by Statistics NZ show that when taken separately, Gisborne’s unemployment rate has recently halved, falling to 4.4 percent, down from 8.8 percent, at the end of March.

The figures, which Statistics NZ pointed out were “below design level” and should be treated as indicative only, estimate that 1300 people in Gisborne are unemployed, compared to 2600 at the end of the first three months of the year.

They also indicate Gisborne has gone from having the nation’s highest unemployment rate to the nation’s lowest (jointly with Waikato).

That is 100 fewer unemployed than at the same time last year, when the June unemployment rate was 1 percent higher.

Unemployed people are those who are available to work, and who either actively seek work or have a new job to start within the next four weeks.

The figures also show more people in work, with the region’s employment rate rising to 70.2 percent from 67.3 percent, while the number of people employed rose by 1400 to 28,300.

Gisborne’s total estimated workforce rose 100 to 29,600 and the number of people not in the workforce fell to 10,500 — 200 fewer than at the end of March.

High participation rate

The figures also estimate Gisborne has a labour force participation rate of 73.4 percent.

The figures were welcomed by the region’s economic development agency and come on the back of a period of growth for some of the region’s key industries.

“The June quarter figures for Gisborne make great reading, even if Stats NZ have said they are indicative only,” said Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen.

“The quarter covers the busy harvest season, which might, in part, explain the figures. However, the region has experienced a period of sustained growth, leading the country at one point, so it is reasonable to expect this growth reflected in better employment outcomes.

“The longer-term employment forecast for the region in key employment sectors such as horticulture, forestry and transport/logistics is still showing job growth, which means more competition for labour, and it reinforces the importance of employers investing in our youth to maintain their workforce, given the backdrop of low national unemployment figures emerging.”

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith said the figures showed the national unemployment rate of 4.8 percent was now at the lowest level since the start of the global financial crisis.

“Our strong economy continues to deliver for New Zealanders,” Mr Goldsmith said.

Labour force participation remains high at 70 percent.

“Particularly pleasing is the reduction in the number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).

“The rate fell to 11.1 percent, down from 12.7 percent in the previous quarter.

“The number of women who are NEET is at the lowest level on record.

“Today’s release shows the Government’s comprehensive economic plan is delivering for families, with lower unemployment, continued strong job creation and more opportunities for young people to get ahead.”

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Julian Michael Tilley - 12 days ago
If jobless figures really have now halved as reported Aug 03, then how come 166 more people are claiming job seeker support payments as reported only 13 days ago under the headline - "Number of benefit-recipients rises in Gisborne", on July 21?
Whatever the accurate figures, if 1300 people can't find one hour of paid employment a week then it's not good (or is that 2600 or 3600 or 4200 indicative of course).

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