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Quarterly employment survey

Survey at a glance

Purpose Collects information on hourly earnings, weekly earnings, weekly paid hours, and number of filled jobs
Population Approximately 120,000 business locations
Sample Approximately 18,000 business locations
Frequency Quarterly
Results Quarterly Employment Survey

Frequently asked questions

About the survey

  • What is the purpose of the Quarterly Employment Survey?
  • Who is included in this survey?
  • What are the surveyed industries?
  • What is this information used for?

About giving data

  • If our business is included in the survey, who should complete the survey?
  • How often does this survey take place?
  • Where can I download a copy of the questionnaire?
  • What if my business does not employ staff?
  • How long am I in this survey for?

About your obligations

  • Why should I provide information to Statistics New Zealand?
  • Will I be paid for providing this information?
  • Will my information be shared with other government agencies?
  • Do I have to complete this questionnaire?

About using information

  • Are results from the Quarterly Employment Survey available?
  • Does Statistics New Zealand have information useful for my business?

 

About the Survey

What is the purpose of the Quarterly Employment Survey?

Employment is an important measure of economic activity. The trends in the number of people employed and in hourly earnings provide a weathervane on New Zealand's economic situation. The source for this economic indicator is the Quarterly Employment Survey. The purpose of the Quarterly Employment Survey is to provide a produce quarterly estimates for men and women of the:

  • average hourly and average gross weekly wages and salaries
  • average weekly paid ordinary and overtime hours
  • number of people in full and part time jobs
  • total hours paid for and total earnings paid out for one week.

Who is included in this survey?

It includes all economically significant businesses in surveyed industries that employ staff. The population size for this survey is approximately 120,000 and the sample for this survey is approximately 18,000. Sample is selected using a process called stratified-random sampling.

What are the surveyed industries?

Businesses that employ staff can be selected for the Quarterly Employment Survey. The industries included in the survey are:

  • accommodation, cafes and restaurants
  • communication services
  • construction
  • cultural and recreational services
  • education
  • electricity, gas and water supply
  • finance and insurance
  • forestry
  • government administration and defence
  • health and community services
  • manufacturing
  • mining
  • personal and other services
  • property and business services
  • retail trade
  • transport and storage
  • wholesale trade.

Industries not included in the survey are:

  • agriculture
  • commercial fishing
  • domestic services in households
  • foreign government representatives
  • hunting, trapping and agricultural services
  • non-civilian staff in the armed forces
  • international sea transport
  • residential property owners.

Of the approximately 120,000 employing business locations included in the survey population, 18,000 business locations are surveyed each quarter to obtain the following information for both men and women by:

  • full- and part-time working proprietors
  • full- and part-time employees
  • ordinary time hours
  • ordinary time dollar payout
  • overtime hours
  • overtime dollar payout.

Information for the public (government) and private (business and not for profit) sectors is collected separately. Click here for further information on the Quarterly Employment Survey.

What is this information used for?

This information, collected every quarter, is compared to the same type of information collected in previous quarters. The comparative change or movement is measured in average hourly earnings, average weekly earnings, average weekly paid hours, and the number of filled jobs.

Quarterly Employment Survey information is used in the production of the quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and in productivity statistics and is used for labour market and economic analysis. The quarterly average wage for the December quarter each year is used to set the ceiling for national superannuation payments. Industry organisations also use the information to monitor changes in different industries. Businesses and researchers use Quarterly Employment Survey data to track changes in employment patterns.

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About giving data

If our business is included in the survey, who should complete the survey?

Accountant, payroll administrator, business owner, etc.

How often does this survey take place?

This survey takes place quarterly.

Where can I download a copy of the questionnaire?

Follow this link for the Quarterly Employment Survey questionnaire and other questionnaires.

What if my business does not employ staff?

Businesses are only selected for the Quarterly Employment Survey if, based on our records, they employ staff. If you are no longer employing staff or are unsure why your business has been selected for the Quarterly Employment Survey, please phone our Survey Help Desk toll free on 0800 809 464 or email us at surveys@stats.govt.nz so that we can update the information about your business.

How long am I in this survey for?

We cannot provide you with a definite timeframe as to how long your business will be included in the survey sample because reselection of the sample for any particular industry varies according to how much change occurs within that industry.

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About your obligations

Why should I provide information to Statistics New Zealand?

Under the Statistics Act 1975 you must provide the information requested by Statistics NZ. It is also important that information from all of the businesses surveyed is accurately represented in the statistical results.

Will I be paid for providing information to Statistics New Zealand?

Providing information to Statistics New Zealand is a statutory obligation. There is no provision in the Statistics Act 1975 for people to be paid for providing information. Where possible, we request information in a way that is easily obtainable from business records. We also recognise that completing survey questionnaires can be time consuming. For some surveys, we provide survey respondents with information that can be useful for your business planning purposes. Also, survey results are available free of charge on the Stastics New Zealand website.

Will my information be shared with other government agencies?

The Statistics Act 1975 states that:

  • all information collected under the Act must be used only for statistical purposes
  • no information is released by Statistics New Zealand in a form that could enable the person or undertaking to whom it relates to be identified.

Consequently, Statistics New Zealand does not share your information with other government agencies. Other government agencies can provide their information to Statistics New Zealand, but only for statistical purposes. Statistics New Zealand sometimes undertakes a statistical survey jointly with another government department or government agency. In all cases, respondents are informed that it is a joint collection. You may object to information being passed to the other party by writing to Statistics New Zealand. Where this right is exercised, Statistics New Zealand withholds the information from the other party.

Do I have to complete this questionnaire?

Businesses selected for any Statistics New Zealand survey must provide the information requested. This is a legal requirement under the Statistics Act 1975.

We appreciate that it can be difficult and time consuming to complete survey forms. If you would prefer to provide information by fax or by email, please phone our Survey Help Desk on 0800 809 464 to discuss these options.

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About using information

Are results from the Quarterly Employment Survey available?

Free standard results each quarter for information on the Quarterly Employment Survey and key results of other Statistics New Zealand surveys.

Does Statistics New Zealand have information useful for my business?

We can provide information that could help your business. For instance we have information that can help in:

  • assessing future population trends
  • economic monitoring
  • target marketing
  • profiling an area
  • estimating your market share
  • assessing consumer spending patterns
  • benchmarking your business.

Further explanation can be found in Business Helper, a web-based guide for business users. We can also provide statistics that enable a comparison of the results of your business with industry results. Contact our Information Centre for more information on Business Helper or on business profiling, please phone toll free 0508 525 525, or send an email to info@stats.govt.nz.

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