Here are the unemployment figures in New Zealand since 1986. A few things to notice:
The peaks represent the 1990, 2000, and 2008 recessions – the latter being especially concerning. Unemployment did get to below 4% in 2007 but that was short-lived with the GFC in 2008.
Grant Cleland from the Monthly Economic Review writes:
New Zealand’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in the September quarter, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter. There were 150,000 people unemployed in the September quarter, down 4,000 from the June quarter (in seasonally adjusted terms).
Employment expanded by 1.2 percent in the September quarter, with growth in full-time and part-time employment. The labour force participation rate (which measures the proportion of those aged 15 years and over that are in the labour force) rose to 68.6 percent, the third-equal highest level since the series commenced in the late 1980s.
Over the year to the September quarter, employment grew by 2.4 percent. For those aged 30 to 34 years, the number of those employed rose by 8.6 percent over the year, and there was a 7.7 percent rise in employment for those aged 65 years and over. The number of people employed in the construction industry expanded by 6.7 percent over the year, while employment in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry fell by 11.7 percent (this was partially due to an “unusually large rise” in employment within this industry in the September 2012 quarter).
The NZIER Quarterly Predictions has forecast the unemployment rate to fall to six percent in the March 2014 quarter, and to 5.5 percent in the following two March quarters. Employment growth of 3.4 percent has been forecast for the year ended in the March 2014 quarter, easing to three percent in the following March year.