8 May 2014

Jobs data confirm economy strong

7:28 am on 8 May 2014

Job figures released on Wednesday offer more evidence the economy is growing at speed, with many thousands more in work.

A boat builder and apprentice on the job.

A boat builder and apprentice on the job. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The unemployment rate remained steady at 6 percent in the March quarter because the number of people in the labour market swelled to a record - the participation rate rose to 69.3 percent of the population.

The number of jobs grew by 0.9 percent in the three months, half as high again as the 0.6 percent growth economists had been expecting.

That's 83,000 people in work at the end of March than a year earlier.

Wages continue to grow at a relatively subdued rate - at 1.6 percent, including overtime, in the latest year.

An economist at Westpac, Michael Gordon, said the growing labour market was one reason why wages growth had remained subdued.