New Zealand employment data for Q1 showcased a 0.8% qoq increase, surpassing expectation of 0.4% qoq growth. Unemployment rate remained steady at 3.4%, defying expectations of rise to 3.5% and staying close to record low of 3.2% made in Q1 2022. Additionally, employment rate climbed from 69.3% to 69.5%, while labor force participation rate rose from 71.8% to 72.0%. Both employment and participation rates reached their highest levels since records began in 1986.
All sector wage inflation was at 1.0%, 4.3% yoy. “Annual wage cost inflation is at its highest level since the series began in 1992, up from 4.1 percent in the year to the December 2022 quarter,” business prices manager Bryan Downes said. “This aligns with other wage measures, like the unadjusted LCI and average hourly earnings, both of which also had the largest annual increases on record.”