Trust these figures at your peril.
New Zealand's unemployment rate is almost half Australia's, but is it really doing that much better?
New Zealand released its latest employment data this week. At first glance, it seems like its labour force is in much better health than Australia's. Its official unemployment rate has just fallen from 4.2 per cent to 4 per cent, despite New Zealand's much harsher initial COVID-19 lockdowns. On this side of the Tasman, Australia's unemployment rate has recently risen from 7.1 per cent to 7.4 per cent, having started the pandemic just above 5 per cent, and the Reserve Bank thinks it could hit 10 per cent later this year. What's going on? Australia would love to have an unemployment rate as low as New Zealand's, but ... (full story)