Mar 09 Unemployment: 5%

This figure is far stronger than the market expected (5.3%) – and well stronger than I was thinking (I was personally seeing scope for 5.5% given how quickly the UR rose in 1990/91).

I know unemployment is a lagging variable – but just reaching the “neutral rate” after 15 months of recession is a strong sign for the NZ economy. I don’t know how we can even get to 7% unemployment in a situation like this (unless the recession is still going strong in 2011 😉 )

This is a very strong result – make no mistake.

Also careful trying to say that employment or the participation rate were rubbish – they are still both up on a year ago 😉