New Zealand's unemployment rate rose to 4.2 per cent in the September quarter, the highest for nearly five years, according to official figures released on Thursday, dpa reported.
About 16,000 workers lost their jobs during the last 12 months, a rise of nearly 20 per cent, leaving a total of 94,000 currently unemployed, Statistics New Zealand said.
But 3,000 more people found jobs in the September quarter. The rising number of people in the workforce and weaker employment growth saw the unemployment rate rise for the third consecutive quarter after falling throughout last year.
The Treasury has forecast that up to 48,00 New Zealanders could lose their jobs in the next two years as the worldwide economic recession bites.