Timaru District Quarterly economic monitor - March 2020

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Unemployment rate

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Highlights for Timaru District

  • The annual average unemployment rate in Timaru District was 3.2% in March 2020, down from 3.2% a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate in Timaru District was lower than in New Zealand, where the unemployment rate averaged 4.1% over the year to March 2020.
  • Over the last ten years the unemployment rate reached a peak of 5.1% in September 2012;

National overview

Unemployment remained low at an annual average rate of 4.1% for the March 2020 year. The March quarter saw rises in both full-time and part-time work compared with the same quarter a year earlier. However, labour market tightness is unlikely to persist. The COVID-19 pandemic and government’s containment measures, such as closing New Zealand’s borders and implementing an economic lockdown, will cause a sharp shock to New Zealand’s short-term growth prospects. The coming recession will result in immediate job losses that will materialise in the June 2020 quarter results. With the knock-on effects of the lockdown reaching almost every sector of the economy, we are forecasting the unemployment rate to rise to 9.0% in the March 2021 year.