New Zealand's jobless rate tumbled to a nine-year low last quarter, boosting hopes for a revival in wage growth and extricating the local dollar from a 17-month trough. The unemployment rate fell to 4.60% in the third quarter, marking the lowest reading since the fourth quarter of 2008 and below of forecasts of 4.70%. Wages grew 0.70% during the period to bring the annualized pace of gains to a five-year high of 1.90%.
The strong labour demand buoyed the participation rate to a record 71.10%, a surge of 1.10 percentage points in just one quarter. The New Zealand dollar remains elevated on the session, trending above 0.6900 after touching a one-week high of 0.69180 earlier. The Kiwi dollar had come under increased bearish pressure in recent weeks amid investor fears that the new government’s left-leaning policies, including a restriction on foreign investment, could stifle growth.