Hon Willie Jackson
Minister of Employment
01 August 2018MEDIA STATEMENT
Employment rates at record high
It is heartening to see the economy continuing to add jobs at a good pace, and that wage growth is picking up for
hard-working Kiwis, Employment Minister Willie Jackson says.
Data released today by Stats NZ showed 94,000 more people were in employment in the June 2018 quarter compared to June
2017 – an annual growth rate of 3.7. This compared to rise in annual growth from 3.1% (79,000) in the March quarter.
“Looking beneath the headline figures there are welcome signs of strength in areas that the Coalition Government is
targeting its policies,” Willie Jackson says.
“Peoples wages are rising. We have the highest rate of employment ever among Maori and Women and New Zealand has one of
the highest rates of employment in the world,” Willie Jackson said.
“Young people’s prospects look much better. Our rate of young people aged 15-24 not in employment, education or training
(NEETs) fell from 12.4% to 10.9% in the June quarter. Budget 2018 contained a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging
our rangatahi into employment and in the past six months, as Minister of Employment, I have delivered over $13 million
under He Poutama Rangatahi with more announcements to come.
“We’ve seen the highest employment rate for women on record this quarter at 62.8%. Annually, 54,000 more women were
employed and the unemployment rate for women is the lowest since December 2008.
“We’ve also seen the highest employment rate on record for Māori. In fact, all data for Māori is positive, with Māori
unemployment and the number of Māori NEETs falling in the June quarter. The gap between Māori and the general population
is closing, something I am proud of and committed to improving further”
“The overall number of people entering the labour force rose in June, contributing to a slight uptick in the
unemployment rate from 4.4% to 4.5%, but this came as employment growth remained strong and kept pace with the working
“Our unemployment rate continues to outperform Australia, and our employment rate for people aged 15-64 is the third
highest in the OECD at 77.4%.
“Wages also grew in June, with private sector salary and wage rates up 2.1% annually, with the rise in the minimum wage
contributing to this. Another measure for wage growth – the Quarterly Employment Survey data for average total weekly
earnings for full-time equivalent employees – increased 3.3% from a year ago to $1,207.06.
“Despite the positive figures released today, the Coalition Government recognises there is still work to do as we work
towards an unemployment rate of 4% by the end of this term.” Willie Jackson said.