9 Jul 2016

Northland employment up, but not for women

10:56 am on 9 July 2016

Northland's unemployment rate has dropped below 8 percent for the first time since the global financial crisis.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Unemployment in the region has peaked around 10 percent several times in the years since 2009.

Northland Regional Council economist Darryl Jones said the average unemployment rate for the year ending in June was 7.9 percent.

But the average concealed a gender difference: the male unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent while the female rate remains stubbornly high at 9.1 percent.

Mr Jones said that was because there had been more jobs available in industries that traditionally employed men, such as construction and manufacturing.

"We've seen some good growth in employment in construction, agriculture and forestry and in manufacturing," he said.

"There hasn't been over the shorter term the increase in jobs in the social services and administrative areas where you traditionally see a greater proportion of females employed."

In the past year, the number of people in full or part-time work in Northland has increased by 300.

But Darryl Jones said Northland's unemployment rate was still the highest in the country.

The lowest was Canterbury's at 3.5 percent.