New Zealand’s Unemployment Rate Lower Than Expected in Q1 2020
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
The unemployment rate in New Zealand has shown a slight increase during Q1 2020, but the government has cautioned that it could worsen in Q2 when the impact of the coronavirus led-shutdowns would be felt to a greater extent. The jobless rate picked up to 4.2% in Q1 2020 from 4% during Q4 2019, but came in better than economists’ forecast, which was for a reading of 4.3%.
On a quarterly basis, unemployment was up 0.7%, while wages registered a 2.5% increase during the period. However, this data fails to reflect the impact of the lockdowns that were imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic in late March.
In the near future, the New Zealand government anticipates that unemployment levels could rise close to 10% and recover to around 5% by next year. Even though the government has eased some of the restrictions and restated economic activity to some extent, several hundreds of thousands of workers are expected to lose their jobs due to the impending slowdown, not just within the country but also globally.
The RBNZ is scheduled to hold its next monetary policy on May 13 after the government unveils its annual budget. Economists expect the central bank and the government to announce more stimulus measures as the crisis escalates the world over.