New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 share index lost 27 points, or just under 1%, to 3056 on Thursday.
Telecom was down 10 cents to $2.75, Fletcher Building down 10 cents to $7.35, and Contact Energy down 11 cents to $6.50. Sky City Entertainment Group lost 5 cents to $3.26.
Vector was up 2 cents to $2.06, while Hallenstein Glasson fell 2 cents at $2.80 after saying its full-year profit will be between $12.2 million and $12.4 million, down 23%on the previous year.
In currency markets, the NZ dollar fell slightly on the unemployment data to 67.11 US cents, 79.53 Australian cents, 39.48 pence, 63.81 yen, and 0.4658 euro. The Trade Weighted Index stood at 62.04.
Australian market higher
The Australian sharemarket closed stronger, pulled up by the resource and financial sectors after better-than-expected unemployment data and a re-rating of the banking sector.
At 1615 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 61.8 points, or 1.45%, at 4326.3, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 58.8 points, or 1.38%, to 4331.
On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the September share price index futures contract was 75 points higher at 4292 on a volume of 25,659 contracts.
Westpac surged 86 cents, or 3.9%, to $A22.93 and Commonwealth Bank jumped $A1.12, or 2.59%, to $A44.35.
National Australia Bank added 32 cents, or 1.26%, to $A25.75 and ANZ Bank advanced 24 cents, or 1.25%, to $A19.47.
Resources giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were up sharply on stronger commodities prices in offshore markets. BHP Billiton advanced 64 cents, or 1.68%, to $A38.79 while Rio Tinto added $1.13, or 1.86%, to $A61.90.
Major oil stocks were mixed, with Oil Search losing five cents to $A5.49, Santos firming six cents to $A14.65 and Woodside Petroleum adding 20 cents to $A44.00.
Dual-listed gold miner Newmont Mining Corporation firmed one cent to $A4.99, but local miners Lihir Gold and Newcrest Mining lost ground. Lihir finished six cents lower at $A2.73 and Newcrest fell 32 cents to $A30.28.
The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US963.70 per fine ounce, 28 US cents higher than Wednesday's closing price of $US963.42.
The media sector made significant gains after giant News Corp posted a $US3.4 billion ($A4.03 billion) full year loss on writedowns and plunging advertising revenue, but says the worst of the economic downturn may have ended.
News shares finished 44 cents, or 3.05 per cent, higher at $14.86 while its non-voting scrip gained 41 cents, or 3.29 per cent, to $12.86.
Fairfax Media firmed six cents, or 4.23 per cent, to $1.48 and Consolidated Media advanced six cents, or 2.19 per cent, to $2.80.