Statistics New Zealand released its labour market data on late Tuesday evening. The unemployment rate rose to 6.0% in the third quarter from 5.9% in the second quarter, in line with expectations.
Employment decreased 0.4% in the third quarter, after a 0.3% gain in the second quarter, missing expectations for a 0.4% rise.
The participation rate declined to 68.6% in the third quarter from 69.3% in the second quarter.
"Until recently, the labour market has been keeping pace with New Zealand's population growth, but in the past three months this has changed. This quarter also had the largest increase in the number of people outside the labour force since the March 2009 quarter," labour market and household statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.