Jobless rate falls amidst political controversy over statistics

The number of people actively seeking work has fallen by 1000 in the June quarter, taking the jobless rate down from 5.2 to 5.1 percent.

The drop comes after a change in the way job seekers are counted. Source: 1 NEWS

Statistics New Zealand says there are now 131,000 people considered unemployed.

The release of today's June quarter jobless number however comes amidst a growing political controversy over the way the jobless figures are calculated.

In June, Statistics New Zealand revised down the March quarter jobless rate from 5.7 to 5.2 percent after deciding not to consider those simply looking at job advertisements on the internet as actively seeking work.

Yesterday, Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson questioned that change and whether there had been political interference in the decision.

That prompted a strong response from the Chief Statistician who strongly refuted any suggestion of political interference and says the change was in line with world's best practice.

Today's figures meanwhile showed job growth was up 1 per cent for the quarter.