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Industry is the type of activity undertaken by the organisation, enterprise, business, or unit of economic activity that employs one or more people aged 15 years and over.

The census data on industry relates to the industry for the main job held by an individual. This is the job in which a person worked the most hours.

Where the data comes from

Question 37 (name of the business / employer), question 38 (main activity of the business / employer) and question 39 (address of the place where worked) on the individual form.

How this data is classified

2013 Census data has been dual-coded to both ANZSIC96 V4.1 and ANZSIC06 V1.0.

ANZSIC06 V1.0 – major divisions

A. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

B. Mining

C. Manufacturing

D. Electricity, gas, water, and waste services

E. Construction

F. Wholesale trade

G. Retail trade

H. Accommodation and food services

I. Transport, postal, and warehousing

J. Information media and telecommunications

K. Financial and insurance services

L. Rental, hiring, and real estate services

M. Professional, scientific, and technical services

N. Administrative and support services

O. Public administration and safety

P. Education and training

Q. Health care and social assistance

R. Arts and recreation services

S. Other services

T. Not elsewhere included

ANZSIC96 V4.1 – major divisions

A. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

B. Mining

C. Manufacturing

D. Electricity, gas, and water supply

E. Construction

F. Wholesale trade

G. Retail trade

H. Accommodation, cafes, and restaurants

I. Transport and storage

J. Communication services

K. Finance and insurance

L. Property and business services

M. Government administration and defence

N. Education

O. Health and community services

P. Cultural and recreational services

Q. Personal and other services

R. Not elsewhere included

More detailed information is available at lower levels of these classifications.

For further information about these classifications, refer to the:

For background information on classifications and standards, refer to the Classifications and related statistical standards page.

Subject population

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

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

Non-response and data that could not be classified


'Non-response' is when an individual gives no response at all to a census question that was relevant to them. The non-response rate is the percentage of the subject population that was coded to ‘Not stated’.

  • Non-response rate for 2013: 3.6 percent
  • Non-response rate for 2006: 3.7 percent
  • Non-response rate for 2001: 4.1 percent.

Not elsewhere included

Non-response and responses that could not be classified or did not provide the type of information asked for are usually grouped together and called 'Not elsewhere included'.

  • In total 4.0 percent of the subject population was coded to 'Not elsewhere included' in 2013, compared with 5.6 percent in 2006 and 5.3 percent in 2001.

For more information on non-response, refer to the 2013 Census data user guide.

How this data is used

Data from this variable is used:

  • by Statistics NZ in conjunction with other variables relating to work (occupation, status in employment, sector of ownership, and hours worked) to re-weight the labour cost index. This index provides a measure of wage inflation and is used in wage negotiations, contract escalation clauses, economic research, and policy-making
  • by central and local government agencies, and social and economic researchers in the monitoring of industry trends and rates of change
  • to evaluate qualification levels in different industry sectors.

Data quality processes

All census data was checked thoroughly during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it met quality standards and is suitable for use. These quality checks included edits.

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

Quality level

quality level is assigned to all census variables: foremost, defining, or supplementary.

Industry is a supplementary variable. Supplementary variables do not fit in directly with the main purpose of a census, but are still important to certain groups. These variables are given third priority in terms of effort and resources.

Mode of collection impacts – online form compared with paper form

The online forms 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 online 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 will always be a mode effect but this cannot be measured. Statistics NZ design and test to minimise the effects of mode for all questions.

There were differences between how the forms were completed online and on paper for this variable:

  • On the online form, only people who answered that they were 15 years of age or older and in employment, and gave a New Zealand address in question 5, were able to respond to the industry question. When forms were completed on paper it was possible for respondents under 15 years of age, or those who were not employed, or overseas visitors to respond to these questions.
  • On the online form, it was only possible to give text responses for the workplace address question if 'Work away from home' was marked. When forms were completed on paper it was possible to give a text response but not mark the 'Work away from home' tick box.

Quality assessment of data and data quality issues for this variable

Overall quality assessment

High: fit for use – with minor data quality issues only. 2013 Census variable quality rating scale gives more detail.

Issues to note

  • Non-response rate for 2013: 3.6 percent.
  • In some cases text responses were not able to be coded because they were illegible or vague, and these were placed in the residual categories (not elsewhere included).

For more information on non-response, refer to the 2013 Census data user guide.

Comparing this data with previous census data

This data is fully comparable with data from the 2006 and 2001 Censuses. Changes in the data over this time period can be interpreted as real changes because there have been no changes in the way the data has been collected, defined, and classified.

Quality of the data is likely to be improved from previous census years because of better matching of employers' names and addresses with the business frame.

Comparing this data with data from other sources

Census is the only information source that provides comprehensive information for small areas and small populations. However alternative sources of information about this subject are available:

Data from these alternative sources may show differences from census data for several reasons. These could be due to differences in scope, coverage, non-response rates, data being collected at different periods of time, alternative sources being sample surveys and as such subject to sampling errors, or differences in question wordings and method of delivery (self-administered versus interviewer-administered). Data users are advised to familiarise themselves with the strengths and limitations of individual data sources before comparing with census data.

Further information about this data

All percentages in census publications have been calculated using 'Total stated' as the denominator.

When using this data, be aware that:

  • while coding industry, employers' names and addresses provided in the census individual forms are matched against Statistics NZ's Business Frame.
  • data from the 2013 and 2006 Censuses was dual coded to both the 1996 and 2006 Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classifications (ANZSIC).

Contact our Information Centre for further information about using this variable.

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