WELLINGTON, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in the September 2018 quarter, indicating strong economic fundamentals, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said on Wednesday.
This is down from 4.4 percent last quarter and is the lowest unemployment rate since the June 2008 quarter when it was 3.8 percent. At the same time, the employment rate rose to a record high of 68.3 percent, the highest rate since the series began more than 30 years ago, according to the country's statistics department Stats NZ.
The government set the target of a four percent unemployment rate within its first term, Robertson said.
There are now over 2.66 million New Zealanders in employment which means that 29,000 more people and families are engaged in earning since the last quarterly results were released, Stats NZ said.
Labor market measures tend to lag behind other economic indicators, which have shown strong and widespread growth in 2018, labor market and household statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said, adding labor market data is most valuable when placed in the context of a time series.
In the latest quarter, 109,000 people were unemployed, 10.5 percent fewer than in the June 2018 quarter, with 8,000 fewer women and 5,000 fewer men. For both sexes, this mainly reflected 11,000 fewer unemployed youth between 15 and 24 years old, statistics show.