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Jobs growth levels off in New Zealand, but forecast to rise again

(Xinhua)

11:14, August 16, 2011

WELLINGTON, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The growth in jobs in New Zealand appears to be leveling off, according to the Department of Labour.

The Lead Employment Index (LEI), compiled by the department's Labour and Immigration Research Centre, showed employment was down by 0.1 percent during the quarter to June.

However, the LEI index -- a combination of five economic indicators, including the stock market index, that historically have shown turning points in employment trends -- was pointing to an upturn this quarter.

"The sideways movement in the June quarter does not constitute a turning point. That would require two consecutive quarterly movements in a new direction," said Vasantha Krishnan, head of the Labour and Immigration Research Centre.

"The indicator is still predicting that employment will increase by about 0.6 percent in the September 2011 quarter and between 0.4 and 0.6 percent in the following two quarters."

The LEI index had risen steadily over the previous seven quarters.

The growth in online skilled job vacancies was also flat in July compared with the previous month, while still 17 percent higher year on year.

Industries with the biggest growth were education and training, which was up by 21.2 percent, and healthcare and medical, which was up by 3.5 percent.

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