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Job numbers lift from lockdown lows, but still below pre-Covid-19 levels - Stats NZ

Data released by Stats NZ today shows the number of filled jobs is recovering from a sharp drop in April, but remain below pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels.

Filled jobs from January to June, 2018 to 2020. Source: Supplied

Economic statistics manager Sue Chapman said an additional 2053 jobs were filled last month, totalling to 2.2 million. 

In May, there were 14,399 additional jobs filled. However, this was still down from March.

“New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1 on 8 June, so businesses operated for almost all of the month without restriction,” she said.

It followed a sharp drop in April, during the Alert Level 4 lockdown, which saw 35,000 fewer jobs filled.

Ms Chapman said accommodation and food services were among the more significantly impacted industries, with 2766 fewer jobs filled since March.

Meanwhile, arts and recreation services had 2008 fewer filled jobs in June 2020 than in March 2020.

The total number of filled jobs in June 2020 is still greater than numbers for June 2019 and 2018.

Gross earnings

Gross earnings for the June quarter remain weak, down 0.9 per cent to $304 million from earnings in the March quarter.

Open plan office. Source: istock.com

This is the first time since 1999 that June quarter gross earnings were lower than March, Ms Chapman said.

“While job numbers dropped and then started to recover, it is clear that salaries and wages received throughout the quarter have taken a hit.”

She said it included wages and salaries paid for with the Covid-19 wage subsidy.

From March to July 3, the Government had paid out $12.7 billion in wage subsidies.  

Gross salaries and wages for the June quarter were $32.8 billion.