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In seasonally adjusted terms, the unemployment rate was at its lowest level in the December 2007 quartersince the survey began in March 1986, Statistics New Zealand said today.
The survey also recorded thehighest number of people in employment and in the labour force, as well as the highest labour forceparticipation rate.
Over the December 2007 quarter the unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percentage points to 3.4 percent.
The female unemployment rate decreased to 3.5 percent, which is the lowest rate recorded in the 20-yearhistory of the survey, while the male unemployment rate increased to 3.4 percent.
The number of peopleunemployed decreased by 2,000 (2.8 percent) driven by a drop in female unemployment, while maleunemployment increased.
Employment increased by 23,000 (1.1 percent) to reach 2,173,000 in the December 2007 quarter, thehighest level recorded since the survey began.
This growth was driven by female employment, while maleemployment decreased. Over the quarter, full-time employment grew by 26,000 (1.6 percent), and part-timeemployment dropped by 1,000 (0.2 percent).
The number of people in the labour force increased by 21,000 (0.9 percent) to 2,249,000 over theDecember 2007 quarter, while the working-age population grew by 11,700 (0.4 percent).
As the labour forceincreased at a greater rate than the working-age population, the labour force participation rate rose from68.3 percent to 68.8 percent.
The female participation rate increased to 62.4 percent, the highest everrecorded, while the male participation rate dropped to 75.4 percent.
The unadjusted unemployment rates by ethnic group for the December 2007 quarter were: 7.3 percent forMÃ„Âori, 5.4 percent for the 'Other' ethnic group, 4.7 percent for Pacific peoples and 2.3 percent for European