Employment

Why is this important for social statistics?

The employment rate gives a sense of how easily people can find paid employment. Several factors affect the employment rate, including state of the economy, the availability of work, migration, and skill levels.

This indicator measures the proportion of the working-age population who are employed.

The ‘working-age population’ is the usually resident, non-institutionalised, civilian population of New Zealand aged 15 and over. We count people as employed if, in a week, they:

  • worked for one hour or more for pay or profit in the context of an employee/employer relationship or self-employment 
  • worked without pay for one hour or more in work which contributed directly to the operation of a farm, business, or professional practice owned or operated by a relative 
  • had a job but were not at work due to: own illness or injury, personal or family responsibilities, bad weather or mechanical breakdown, direct involvement in an industrial dispute, or leave or holiday.
  • Image, Employment.

    Most recent data

    The graphs below are interactive. Hover over data points to see exact values. Click legend text to hide or show variables.

    Figure 1

    See information about this data.

    Figure 2

    See information about this data.

    Figure 3

    Note: People who reported that they belonged to more than one ethnic group are counted once in each group reported.
    MELAA = Middle Eastern, Latin American, and African.
    ‘Other ethnicity’ includes people who identified as ‘New Zealander’.

    See information about this data.

    Figure 4

    Note: Restricted to people aged 15 to 64 years old.
    See information about this data.

    Information about the New Zealand data

    Figures 1, 2, and 3

    Date published: June 2017 
    Next update expected: February 2018
    Update frequency: Annually
    Geographic coverage: National
    Demographic information available? Yes
    Internationally recognised measure? Yes
    Source: Stats NZ – Household Labour Force Survey
    Purpose of the survey or data: To provide a regular, timely, and comprehensive portrayal of New Zealand’s labour force. Each quarter, Stats NZ produces a range of statistics relating to employment, unemployment, and people not in the labour force.
    Data quality: See the ‘data quality’ section of the most recent survey at Labour Market Statistics – information releases.

    Information about the international data

    Figure 4

    Date published: June 2017
    Next update expected: April 2018
    Update frequency: Annually
    Source: OECD – OECD Employment Database
    Geographic coverage: International
    Purpose of the survey or data: To compile data from labour force surveys across the world to provide the most accurate comparison of labour statistics. Data is stored in the OECD Employment Database and updated as information is obtained for each country.
    Data quality: Employment-to-population ratios are standardised as best as possible to allow for international comparison. The OECD restricts the working-age population to 15 to 64 year-olds for consistency, as some countries have mandatory retirement ages. 
    Labour force statistics in OECD countries: Sources, coverage and definitions (PDF, 438 kb) has more information.

    Want to know more?

    Ministry of Social Development – The Social Report 2016 – Te pūrongo oranga tangata
    Stats NZ – Labour Market Statistics
    Stats NZ – Infoshare 
    OECD – Employment

Downloadable file:

excel icon. Employment – tables (Excel, 5 sheets, 36kb)

Includes breakdowns by sex, age group, ethnic group, and OECD country.

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