The New Zealand government's found some good news in new jobless figures, as other political parties accuse it of failing to create jobs.

Statistics NZ released Household Labour Force Survey figures on Wednesday, showing unemployment rising to 6.4 per cent in the three months ended June 30 - higher than the 6.3 per cent expected by economists in a Reuters poll and up from 6.2 per cent in the first quarter.

An additional 5000 people were available for work and looking for work, boosting the unemployment number, and the participation rate increased 0.1 percentage point to 68 per cent.

However, Statistics NZ says the labour market is improving, with employment growth up 0.4 per cent in the quarter, and 0.7 per cent in the year to June, and unemployment down from a year ago - below the 6.9 per cent average for 2012, and the lowest in its trend series since June 2009.

Employment Minister Steven Joyce says that shows the overall labour market is improving, and employment is growing as the economy recovers.

However, Labour and the Greens responded to the results by saying the government is not doing enough to get Kiwis into work.

"Stubbornly high levels of unemployment are another sign of a recovery that's leaving many behind," Greens co-leader Russel Norman says.

Labour's employment spokesman Grant Robertson says growing unemployment is National's legacy of nearly five years in office.

"It's time for National to get past the excuses of the global financial crisis and the earthquakes."

 

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