Unemployment rate New Zealand 2016-2017

Slightly over five percent of the labor force in New Zealand were unemployed as of the first quarter of 2017. According to estimates, the share of the labor force that were unemployed will drop to 4.52 percent by 2018. By international standards, this value is relatively low.

Employment opportunities

After experiencing an economic downtown following the 2008 global financial crisis, the labor market in New Zealand has been slow to recover to pre-recession levels. This can be observed in the unemployment rate of the country, as well as in other economic indicators. That’s not to say the labor market isn’t improving - by 2020, employment in the country was estimated to continue increasing to 2.72 million people. The country’s labor force participation rate, a measure of an economy’s active labor force, has also continued to increase.

The job market

New Zealand’s employment landscape is dominated by the services sector; over 70 percent of the workforce are employed in this economic sector. Although the agriculture and goods-producing sectors have been historically strong, the shift towards the services sector is becoming more evident across the nation.

Quarterly unemployment rate in New Zealand from 1st quarter 2016 to 1st quarter 2017

Unemployment rate
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Release date

May 2017


New Zealand

Survey time period

1st quarter 2016 to 1st quarter 2017

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