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Examples of underutilisation measures

The following examples illustrate different types of underutilisation.

  • Jane has been looking for work for many months now, and has been available to work in the last week. Finally, Statistics NZ offered her a job. She hasn’t started yet, but her first day is in two weeks’ time. Jane is ‘unemployed’.
  • Pete only works five hours a week. He is currently looking for a new job with more hours because his job doesn’t offer him enough work even though he is available to work more hours. Pete is 'involuntarily' in part-time work – he is ‘time-related underemployed’.
  • John has just finished school and is really keen to start working somewhere, and could have started last week if something had been offered. However, he hasn’t really started looking yet. John is an ‘available potential jobseeker’.
  • Jackie has been contacting employers and giving them copies of her CV. She is still sitting her final exams, so wouldn’t be able to start working just now. She will be free once exams are finished in three weeks’ time. Jackie is an ‘unavailable jobseeker’.
  • Bob is retired. He doesn’t want a job as he is enjoying his retirement after 46 years of paid employment. Bob is ‘not in the labour force and not underutilised’.
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