Top New Zealand officials have reacted to the employment figures released on Thursday, showing confidence to the job situation despite challenges from the Canterbury earthquakes and the global financial crisis. The Household Labor Force Survey released by Statistics New Zealand Thursday showed that unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent in the three months ended September 30 from 6.5 percent in the June quarter. The labor force grew, with increases in both the number of people employed and the number of people unemployed. Prime Minister John Key said the figures reflected increased confidence in the economy. \"We\'ve created 5000 extra jobs in the last quarter. What it shows is that slightly more people are looking for work ... And what that indicates is there is more confidence coming back into the economy for people to start looking for work,\" he was quoted by the New Zealand Herald as saying. \"We\'ve created 63,000 more jobs in the last two years,\" he said, despite 16,000 jobs being lost due to the Canterbury earthquakes in the last quarter. He said investing in the science sector, including Thursday\'s announcement about a new Crown Research Institute for high- technology, would create more jobs. Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett also commented in a statement, saying the government\'s economic plan was working.