Women are the biggest winners of the current buoyant labour market.

Figures out today showed the 62.8 per cent employment rate for females was the highest on record and the unemployment rate (4.7 per cent) the lowest in a decade.

The Ministry of Business and Innovation said the overall employment rate of 67.7 per cent – also the highest in more than a decade – is the second highest since the scorecard records began in 1986. It means 2.63 million people are in employment, a.5 per cent increase driven by employment for women, which is up 14,000. However, 1000 fewer men are in jobs and overall the unemployment rate rose to 4.5 per cent.

Average ordinary hourly earnings have also increased over the year to the end of June, bolstered by an increased minimum wage and more pay for support workers. The average ordinary time hourly earners rose 3 per cent, to hit $31 an hour.

“The Care and Support Worker act, which came into effect on July 1, 2017, remains the major driver of annual wage growth,” MBIE said. “However the minimum wage increase of 75 cents to $16.50 on April 1 [this year] was the main contributor to quarterly wage growth.”

The ministry says employment growth is continuing to keep pace with population growth, and was strongest in Otago, Waikato and Auckland.

“The healthcare and social assistance industry had the strongest annual employment growth rate.”



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