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Work and labour force status

Definition

'Work and labour force status' classifies people aged 15 years and over according to their inclusion or exclusion from the labour force.

For people who are employed, it distinguishes whether they are employed full time (30 hours or more per week) or part time (fewer than 30 hours per week).

For people who are not employed, it classifies them as either 'unemployed' or 'not in the labour force'.

Relationship to questionnaire(s)

Work and labour force status is derived from questions 32, 40, 43, 44 and 45 on the individual form (PDF 395kb).

Subject population

The subject population is the people, families, households or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

The subject population for this variable is the census usually resident population aged 15 years and over.

Non-response rate

There is no non-response category for work and labour force status, as a person's work and labour force status is imputed if they did not respond to the questions from which it is derived. This includes situations in which an entire individual form for a person within a household was not answered, and situations in which an entire household did not respond.

In 2006, work and labour force status was imputed for 6.7 percent of the usually resident population aged 15 years and over.

In 2001, work and labour force status was imputed for 7.9 percent of the usually resident population aged 15 years and over.

Quality Management Strategy priority level

Work and labour force status is a defining variable.

The Census Quality Management Strategy assigns a priority level to all census variables.

Defining variables cover key subject populations that are important for policy development, evaluation or monitoring. These variables are given secondary priority in terms of quality, time and resources across all phases of the 2006 Census.

All data must meet minimum quality standards in order to make it suitable for use.

Comparability with 1996 and 2001 Census data

There are no issues affecting the comparability of this data with 1996 and 2001 Census data.

Comparability with other data

The census attempts to use similar criteria and question wordings to the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) to determine a person's labour force characteristics, such as work and labour force status. However, there are a number of important differences between the two data sources, which mean that direct comparison is not always possible, particularly below the national level and specifically for cross-classifications of variables. The differences between the two data sources include differences in scope, coverage (including under- and over-coverage), timing, non-response, editing practice, question wordings and method of delivery (self administered versus interviewer administered). Additionally, the HLFS is a sample survey. The HLFS is the official measure of employment and unemployment in New Zealand, but, depending on the type of analysis being undertaken, it may be more appropriate to use census data. Statistics New Zealand can assist data users in determining the best data source for their particular data need.

Significant issues

There are no significant issues that users need to be aware of.

Other things to be aware of

  • All census data was subject to considerable checks (including edits) during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it meets quality standards and is suitable for use. These checks were applied to data supplied both on paper and on Internet forms. In addition to these quality checks, the Internet form had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from Internet forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done.
  • There were differences between how the forms were completed on the Internet and on paper for this variable:
    • If respondents marked 'none' for the job indicator question on the Internet, the questions between job indicator and seeking work were greyed out, so the respondent could not answer them unless they changed their answer to the job indicator question.
    • The Internet form did not allow the inconsistent multiple response of 'none of these' to be selected along with one or more of the 'I worked.../I work...' categories in the job indicator question. If the 'none of these' box was marked, any other responses to job indicator disappeared. Inconsistent multiple responses to this question were possible when forms were completed on paper.
    • The Internet form allowed 0 to 168 hours to be entered in each of the numeric boxes for hours worked in 'main job' and 'in all other jobs'. If more than 168 hours was entered, a message popped up to alert the respondent and they had to change their response. Responses outside the valid range were possible when forms were completed on paper.
    • The Internet form allowed only one response to be selected for the seeking work and availability for work questions. If a further response was selected, the response given previously disappeared. Multiple responses to this question were possible when forms were completed on paper.
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