Total filled jobs fell 1.7 percent in April 2020 compared with March 2020, when it was flat, Stats NZ said.
April’s fall is the largest in percentage terms and by number since the filled jobs series began more than 20 years ago in 1999, it added.
“With the country in lockdown throughout most of April 2020, the impact of COVID-19 is now being seen in falling job numbers,” economic statistics manager Sue Chapman said in a statement.
“Non-essential businesses closed during the lockdown, though some people were able to work from home,” she said.
“While a fall in filled jobs does not necessarily mean employment has ceased in all cases, we saw a rise of over 30,000 people claiming the government’s Jobseeker Support benefit in April,” Chapman said.