The number of jobs filled by wage and salary earners has edged down.
Statistics New Zealand's national employment indicator fell 0.2% in January, compared with the previous month.
Compared with a year ago, the number of seasonally-adjusted filled jobs rose 1.3%.
The indicator provides an early indication of change in the number, rather than the level, of filled jobs.
The unemployment rate slipped to 6.3% in the last three months of 2011.
Last week, the Department of Labour forecast the labour market to improve gradually over the next two years, anticipating nearly 94,000 new jobs.