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Labour Force

Commentary

Overview

The period from 1991 to 2006 saw increasing percentages of the adult population (people aged 15 years and over) in the full-time and part-time labour force for most areas in the Auckland region. Areas with the highest percentage of full-time workers were in Auckland city, while areas with the highest percentage of people working part time were more rural. Over the same period, the percentages either unemployed or not in the labour force decreased in most areas.

Mapping labour force status

Adults can be classified as being employed full time or part time, being unemployed, or not in the labour force. Figure 14.1 shows the percentages of the adult population in each labour force status from 1991 to 2006.

Figure 14.1

Percentage of adult population by Lafour Force Status

Note: More information about interpreting the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

pdf icon. Downloadable version of figure 14.1 (PDF, 9.9MB)

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Changes in labour force status over time

Table 14.1 shows changes in the number and the percentage of adults in each labour force status from 1991 to 2006 for the Auckland region. The number of people working full time or part time increased, both numerically and as a percentage of the total population, in most areas of the region from 1991. The 'employed full time' and 'employed part time' maps in figure 14.1 illustrate this by showing most areas gradually becoming darker from 1991 to 2006.

Table 14.1

Adult Population in Auckland Region by Labour Force Status
1991–2006
1991 1996 2001 2006
Labour force status (000)
Employed full time 338.0 385.7 422.9 495.1
Employed part time 66.5 102.3 110.8 132.6
Unemployed 47.2 39.7 45.4 37.3
Not in the labour force 277.9 262.0 276.8 305.0
Total 729.6 789.7 856.0 970.0
Percent
Employed full time 46.3 48.8 49.4 51.0
Employed part time 9.1 12.9 12.9 13.7
Unemployed 6.5 5.0 5.3 3.8
Not in the labour force 38.1 33.2 32.3 31.4

Source: Census of Population and Dwellings

In 2006, areas with the highest percentage of full-time workers were in Auckland city, while areas with the highest percentage of people working part time were generally more rural.

South-east Auckland city and a large part of Manukau city had the lowest percentage of part-time workers, a continuation of the trend from 1991. These areas had the highest percentage of unemployed in 2006.

The percentage of people who were unemployed fell for the vast majority of areas in the Auckland region between 1991 and 2006. Unemployment in areas such as Otara fell from almost 14 percent in 1991 to below 8 percent in 2006.

The percentage who were not in the labour force decreased in a large number of areas in the Auckland region between 1991 and 2006. The retirement areas of Algies Bay, Orewa, and Pigeon Mountain had the highest proportion of their population not in the labour force in 2006. Areas in and around Otara and Mangere have consistently had high proportions of their population not in the labour force.

Labour force projections

Official labour force projections produced by Statistics NZ are only derived for the country as a whole. Subnational labour force projections are derived in response to requests from individual clients. The subnational labour force projections used in this report were produced specifically for this project and are not part of the official projection series produced by Statistics NZ.

The Auckland region's labour force could increase from 732,000 in 2006 to over one million people in 2031, based on the medium-variant projections. This is an increase of 294,000 or 40 percent. The labour force includes people who work either full time or part time, or are unemployed and looking for work.

The projected percentage increase in the labour force is similar to the projected percentage increase of the total population for the Auckland region between 2006 and 2031. The same relationship also applies with the region's territorial authorities. This is not too surprising, because for most of the projection period over 60 percent of the population is in the main working-age group (15–64 years).

Figure 14.2 shows the historical labour force participation rates (for those aged 15 years and over), as well as the projected rates to 2031. Darker areas on the maps identify higher labour force participation rates. More detail about the construction of the labour force projections is in the Notes and sources section.

Figure 14.2

Historical and projected Labour Force participation rate

Note: More information about interpreting the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

pdf icon. Downloadable version of figure 14.2 (PDF, 6.7MB)

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Figure 14.2 shows that in the decade from 1996 to 2006 labour force participation was high in the outer areas of the Auckland region. However, from 2011 to 2031 these areas become lighter in colour, meaning a lower percentage of the adult population will be in the labour force in the future. Dark patches are evident in central Auckland from 1996 onwards. This area has a relatively young population with a high percentage in the labour force. Areas in western parts of Manukau city also have a youthful age structure, but significantly lower percentages of the population in the labour force. Their ongoing lower labour force participation rates mean that these area units remain among the lightest coloured in the maps over time.

Implications

There are a number of implications about the Auckland region's labour force:

Changes in age-specific labour force participation rates, as well as changes to the age structure of the population, will affect the age structure of the labour force. The labour force participation rate for those aged 65+ increased from 9.2 percent in 1996 to 17.1 percent in 2006 (Statistics New Zealand, 2007). Further increases for this age group are assumed. Combine this with an ageing population and the future will see a far greater number of people aged 65+ in the labour force.
The labour force participation rate for the 65+ population is significantly lower than for those aged 15–64 years. Areas with a higher percentage of the population reaching age 65 in the future are likely to have a smaller proportion of the adult population in the labour force.
Central Auckland has undergone large changes in its labour force participation, from having the lowest participation rates in 1991 to among the highest in 2006. Changes in the characteristics of this area seem likely to continue, as the projections of labour force participation show.

Related chapters

  • 65+ population
  • Education
  • Households and families
  • Income
  • Population change

Further information

This page is part of Mapping Trends in the Auckland Region, available on www.stats.govt.nz.

Notes and sources

Definitions

Full-time employed: Anyone in the working-age population (people aged 15 years and over) who usually works 30 or more hours per week.

Part-time employed: Anyone in the working-age population who usually works fewer than 30 hours per week.

Unemployed: Anyone in the working-age population who during their reference week were without a paid job, were available for work and:
(a) had actively sought work in the past four weeks ending with the reference week, or
(b) had a new job to start within four weeks.

Not in the labour force: Any person in the working-age population who is neither employed nor unemployed. For example, this category includes:

  • retired people
  • people with personal or family responsibilities, such as unpaid housework and childcare
  • people attending educational institutions
  • people permanently unable to work due to physical or mental disabilities
  • people who were temporarily unavailable for work in the survey reference week
  • people who are not actively seeking work.

Data sources

The historical data are based on the census usually resident population count from the 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 population censuses.

The labour force projections used in this report were produced specifically for this project and are not part of the official projection series produced by Statistics NZ. The labour force projections are derived by applying assumed labour force participation rates to a projected population by age and sex. (See 'Construction of labour force projections' below.)

The projected data comes from the 2006-base population projections released in December 2007. Projections are based on assumptions about future fertility, mortality, and migration. There are three alternative series produced (low, medium, and high) using different assumptions. The population projections have as a base the estimated resident population at 30 June 2006, and extend to 2031. More information about population projections is on the Subnational Population Projections page on the Statistics NZ website.

The maps display data at area unit level. Area units are non-administrative areas that are in between meshblocks and territorial authorities. They generally coincide with suburbs (in urban areas) and rural neighbourhoods. The Auckland region is made up of 399 area units, while there are 1,927 area units throughout New Zealand. Digital boundary files, used for constructing the maps, can be downloaded from Digital Boundaries on the Statistics NZ website.

The Auckland region is one of 16 regions, which are aggregations of area units governed by regional councils. More information about the geographical hierarchy of areas and the maps is in the Interpreting the mapschapter.

Construction of labour force projections

1. Calculate labour force participation rates in 2006, by age, sex, and area unit

The labour force participation rate is the proportion of working-age people who are in the labour force. Some small area units had age-sex groups with no members in 2006, and hence no labour force participation rate. These age-sex groups were assigned the Auckland-wide average participation rates for that age and sex.

Figure 14.3

Labour Force Participation Rates

2. Assume that, over the period 2006–31, each area unit keeps the same age-sex-specific labour force participation rates that it had in 2006

It is difficult to construct realistic scenarios with changing rates for the 388 highly diverse area units in the territorial authorities of the Auckland region.

3. Multiply the projected number of people in each age-sex group by the labour force participation rate for that age-sex group to obtain the number of people in the labour force

This is done separately for each area unit, for each year. The area unit population projections are described in the chapter on population growth. The projected labour force in each age-sex group for each area unit is then prorated to be consistent with the medium-variant labour force projections for the respective territorial authorities in the Auckland region.

4. Calculate an overall labour force participation rate for the area unit

Divide the total number of people in the labour force by the total number of working-age people, to obtain an overall labour force participation rate. This is done separately for each area unit, for each year.

References

Statistics New Zealand (2007). New Zealand's 65+ Population: A statistical volume (2007) Statistics New Zealand.

Further reading

Auckland Regional Council (2008). Employment in the Auckland region 2006 Auckland Regional Council, 2006 Census series.

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