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Widespread growth in business and staff numbers
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  27 October 2016

New Zealand Business Demography Statistics: At February 2016  –  Media Release

Most industries and regions have more businesses and staff than last year, with growth led by the construction industry, Statistics New Zealand said today. Mining is the only industry to go against the trend.

The latest business demography statistics showed 515,000 enterprises in total in New Zealand at February 2016, up 1.6 percent from the previous year. Those businesses employed 2.1 million paid staff, up 2.4 percent in the same period.

For the fourth year in a row, more businesses are starting up than shutting down.

“Increases in business and employee counts over the year to February 2016 – employee counts in particular – were spread across almost all industries and regions,” Business Register manager Mary Reid said. “Of the 19 industries, 16 had more enterprises, and all except mining had more staff than they did a year ago.”

Continuing its steady growth trend of the past few years, the construction industry had rises of 3.7 percent in the number of enterprises, and 4.8 percent in the number of staff over the February 2016 year. Construction engaged 148,000 staff at February 2016.

Over the past decade, the health care and social services industry has added 39,000 or 21.1 percent more employees – the highest addition by any industry. This industry employed 224,000 people at February 2016, making it a close second to manufacturing – historically, the largest employer. Manufacturing employed 235,000 people at February 2016.

The Auckland and Bay of Plenty regions had the highest growth in the number of business locations over the year, with increases of 3.3 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively. Auckland continued to dominate the employment scene. More than a third of all staff in New Zealand at February 2016 worked in Auckland. Job numbers in Auckland were up 27,000 (3.8 percent) compared with February 2015.

Canterbury continued to be the second-largest region in terms of business locations and staff, and had a 1.0 percent annual rise in both these measures during the year to February 2016. This was lower than in the previous three years, where Canterbury business numbers and staff grew more than 3 percent on average.

Note: Labour market statistics for the September quarter are due out in early November.

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Mary Reid, Auckland 09 920 9100, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 27 October 2016

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