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Ninety per cent of Kiwis who lost jobs during Covid-19 pandemic are women, data shows

Of the 11,000 Kiwis who lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic, 10,000 were women, according to data released today.

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But in a Covid-19-related anomaly, New Zealand’s unemployment rate has actually fallen. Source: 1 NEWS

It's prompted concern from Kiwibank's chief economist Jarrod Kerr, who says women are getting left behind in the Government's response.

"We're trying to repurpose roles in one part of the economy and increase roles in another, but where we're stimulating construction -mostly men - and where we're losing jobs [in] tourism and hospitality, mostly women. So we need to try and work that better," he told 1 NEWS today.

Kiwibank says women make up around 47.7 per cent of the employed workforce, but there isn't an even split between industries.

It says around 80 per cent of those in trades are male, while more than 70 per cent of hospitality workers are female.

Ninety per cent of the people who lost their jobs during the June quarter were women, Kiwibank says. Young people and Māori were also among the workers hardest hit by the Covid-19's impact on the economy.

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The Government has boosted spending on construction and infrastructure industries with a heavy focus on "shovel-ready projects", which are projects intended to be able to get underway immediately and provide jobs.

Meanwhile the tourism industry has received its own support packages, as well as encouragement for New Zealanders to travel the country instead of heading overseas to spend their money.

Overall the unemployment rate fell to four per cent during the June quarter, down from 4.2 per cent, but the underutilisation rate - which includes people not actively looking for work - rose from 10.4 per cent to 12 per cent.

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It was the largest quarterly rise for the underutilisation rate since 2004.

Mr Kerr says that's the figure people should be looking at, calling the unemployment rate "unreliable".

"It's about seeing how we fare over the next couple of quarters."