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Economics
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Unemployment up to 4%, while public sector wages rise

Stats NZ labour market data comes in below expectations in the December quarter, while health and education wage settlements flow through.

A measure of untapped labour capacity rose to 10.7%, or 337,000 ‘underutilised people’ in the December quarter.

Key points
  • What’s at stake: Whether the RBNZ needs to hike the official cash rate again in 2024 because of stubborn inflation pressures. 
  • Background: Stats NZ data out today showed unemployment rose to 4% in the December quarter. Economists and the RBNZ had expected 4.2% or 4.3%. The central bank kept the OCR at 5.5% in November. But it said it had a ‘willingness’ to hike again, if needed, this year.
  • Key players: RBNZ, Adrian Orr, Paul Conway, Westpac, Michael Gordon, Stats NZ.

Unemployment has risen to 4%  – below expectations – while wages increased in the public sector late last year.

Economists had expected unemployment to rise to about 4.2% or 4.3% in the December quarter, from 3.9% in the September quarter. The RBNZ’s November Monetary Policy Statement expected

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Key points
  • What’s at stake: Whether the RBNZ needs to hike the official cash rate again in 2024 because of stubborn inflation pressures. 
  • Background: Stats NZ data out today showed unemployment rose to 4% in the December quarter. Economists and the RBNZ had expected 4.2% or 4.3%. The central bank kept the OCR at 5.5% in November. But it said it had a ‘willingness’ to hike again, if needed, this year.
  • Key players: RBNZ, Adrian Orr, Paul Conway, Westpac, Michael Gordon, Stats NZ.
Unemployment up to 4%, while public sector wages rise
Economics,
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