5 May 2014

Unemployment expected to fall

6:03 am on 5 May 2014

Economists expect job market figures out during the coming week will show a stable to falling unemployment rate and at least some growth in employment.

The exodus across Tasman has slowed.

The exodus across Tasman has slowed. Photo: RNZ

Expectations range from an unemployment rate of 5.7 to 6 percent - the level in December - and for employment to have grown between 0.1 and 0.9 percent in the March quarter.

That's worse than the Reserve Bank forecast in March - it was expecting the unemployment rate to fall to 5.6 percent by the end of March.

But Bank of New Zealand economist Doug Steel said that since the Reserve Bank prepared its forecasts the growth in migration had been stronger than expected, increasing the number of people in the labour market.

The main message from the announced statistics would be one of positive trends, he said.

"We think the trends in the labour market are pretty strong," he said.

"We have 0.6 percent employment growth for the quarter, which would see annual growth, compared with the same quarter in the previous year, of 3.4 percent - that's very strong".