New Zealand's unemployment rate was steady at 6.5 percent in the April-June quarter, as the labour market remained resilient despite the Christchurch earthquake, official data showed Thursday.
The seasonally-adjusted figure for the three months to June 30 exceeded market expectations of a 6.7 percent jobless rate, fuelled by fears the February quake would cripple the Christchurch economy.
While Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) found there was a rise in unemployment in Christchurch following the quake, which killed 181 people, it was offset by nation-wide growth as the economy generated 1,000 jobs over the quarter.
"Although key labour market indicators remain flat when compared with the March 2011 quarter, annual changes in the number of unemployed and employed show a continued strengthening of the New Zealand labour market," SNZ statistician Diane Ramsay said.
The New Zealand dollar rose 0.04 US cents to 86.56 US cents after the jobs figures were released.