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Timaru District Quarterly economic monitor - September 2020

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Unemployment rate

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Highlights for Timaru District

  • The annual average unemployment rate in Timaru District was 3.7% in September 2020, up from 3.2% a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate in Timaru District was lower than in New Zealand, where the unemployment rate averaged 4.4% over the year to September 2020.
  • Over the last ten years the unemployment rate reached a peak of 5.1% in September 2012;

National overview

The national unemployment rate rose to 5.3% (seasonally adjusted) in the September 2020 quarter, as job losses continued to mount. On average over the last 12 months, the unemployment rate nationally was 4.4%, highlighting just how fast the pandemic has shifted economic conditions. Our system focuses on annual averages to smooth out volatility at a regional level each quarter, but the sharp rise in unemployment has been felt across the country. The labour market hit from COVID-19 has been less severe than originally feared, with fewer job losses than forecast. The labour market hit is coming through various channels. Some workers are still employed but working fewer hours, whereas others are out of a job, but not looking for a new role yet. However, women, Māori, and young people continue to be hardest hit by the downturn, and we expect that unemployment will continue to rise as we head into 2021.