Fast Facts

Employment highest ever for women

The seasonally adjusted employment rate for women rose to 62.8 percent in the June 2018 quarter, Stats NZ said. This follows an employment rate of 62.6 percent last quarter.

“The overall employment rate has remained unchanged at 67.7 percent for three consecutive quarters,” labour market manager Sean Broughton said. “However, the employment rate for women is the highest since records began over 30 years ago, and represents 1.25 million women at work.”

In the June 2018 quarter, the number of employed people grew by 13,000, to reach 2,631,000. This growth was mainly women between the ages of 25–39.

“Annually, there were over 50,000 more women employed. Women account for nearly half of total employed people,” Mr Broughton said.

Compared with 2017, 26,200 more people were employed in the healthcare and social assistance industry. Women made up almost 80 percent of this increase, matching the make-up of the industry.

“Employment growth in healthcare and social assistance is possibly in response to New Zealand’s ageing population, as the largest rise came from aged care residential and other health services,” Mr Broughton said.

The number of people in professional occupations increased by 29,700, influenced by 17,300 more women. The largest increases for women within the professional occupation came from registered nurses and accountants.

Changes in full-time work (30 or more hours) and part-time work (fewer than 30 hours) in the June 2018 quarter were mainly influenced by women. There were 22,000 more women who worked full time and 6,000 fewer who worked part time.

The unemployment rate for women fell to 4.7 percent in the June 2018 quarter – a nine-year low. This follows an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent last quarter.

“By comparison, the New Zealand unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.5 percent, while that for men also rose, to 4.3 percent,” Mr Broughton said.

The underutilisation rate for women was 14.3 percent, down from 14.6 percent last quarter. This compares with 10.0 percent for men (up from 9.4 percent) and 12.0 percent nationally (up from 11.9 percent).

The underutilisation rate is just as important as the unemployment rate, as it provides a broader gauge of untapped capacity in New Zealand’s labour market.

In the June 2018 quarter, the proportion of women not in employment, education, or training (NEET) fell to 11.3 percent – the lowest rate since records began in 2004. The NEET rate for men was 10.5 percent. For the second consecutive quarter, NEET rates for men and women remained the closest they have been on record.

Source: Stats NZ

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