The impact of Covid-19 saw job numbers plummet by a record 37,500 in April 2020.

In seasonally adjusted terms, total filled jobs fell 1.7 per cent in April 2020 compared with March 2020, when it was flat.

Earlier job numbers have not shown dire impact of Covid-19, but the latest figures have begun to shed light on the hit the workforce has taken.

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.


"With the country in lockdown throughout most of April 2020, the impact of COVID-19 is now being seen in falling job numbers," said Stats NZ economic statistics manager Sue Chapman.

"Non-essential businesses closed during the lockdown, though some people were able to work from home."

Stats NZ calculates filled jobs by averaging weekly jobs paid during the month, based on tax data. Filled jobs include jobs paid by employers who are being subsidised by the COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme.

Jobs in the primary industries fell 4.3 per cent (4,480 jobs). Filled jobs in the goods-producing industries fell 1.0 per cent (4,153 jobs) and in the service industries they fell 1.7 per cent (29,317 jobs).

There is more pain to come for New Zealand workers.

Treasury has predicted that unemployment will likely peak at around 9.8 per cent in September.