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Labour Market Statistics: June 2016 quarter (includes Household Labour Force Survey)
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  17 August 2016

About labour market statistics

The labour market statistics information release combines data from three surveys to present a broad picture of the labour market.

From the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) we provide a picture of New Zealand's labour force – these statistics relate to employment, unemployment, and people not in the labour force.

The Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) estimates the demand for labour by New Zealand businesses – the levels and changes in employment, total weekly gross earnings, total weekly paid hours, average hourly and average weekly earnings, and average weekly paid hours in the industries we survey.

The Labour Cost Index (LCI) measures changes in salary and wage rates for a fixed quantity and quality of labour input. It is a measure of wage inflation, reflecting changes in the rates that employers pay to have the same job done to the same standard.

Labour market diagram - blank version

Labour force categories used in the Household Labour Force Survey has more information.

More definitions

Business Register: the list of all economically significant enterprises in New Zealand, which is maintained by Statistics NZ.

Employed: people in the working-age population who, during the reference week, did one of the following: 

  • 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.

Employment rate: the number of employed people expressed as a percentage of the working-age population. The employment rate is closely linked to the working-age population definition.

Enterprise: a business or service entity operating in New Zealand.

Extended labour force: people in the labour force, or in the potential labour force.

Filled jobs: the total number of full-time jobs, part-time jobs, and working proprietors.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs: the total number of full-time jobs plus half the number of part-time jobs. Does not include working proprietors.

Full-time jobs: jobs where the employee works for 30 hours or more per week.

Full-time/part-time status: full-time workers usually work 30 hours or more per week, even if they did not do so in the survey reference week because of sickness, holidays, or other reasons. Part-time workers usually work fewer than 30 hours per week.

Hours worked: actual hours are the number of hours a person worked in the reference week (including overtime). Usual hours refers to the number of hours a person normally works in a week (including overtime).

Index reference period: the benchmark with which prices in other periods are compared (eg if the index number in a later period is 1150, prices have increased by 15.0 percent since the index reference period). Prices for later periods can also be compared in the same fashion. The LCI has an index reference period of the June 2009 quarter (=1000).

Industry: determined from the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006. Businesses in QES are classified using ANZSIC06 industries. See ANZSIC 2006 – industry classification for more information about ANZSIC06 and its implementation into the QES and other Statistics NZ collections.

Labour force: members of the working-age population, who during the survey reference week, were classified as 'employed' or 'unemployed’.

Labour force participation rate: the total labour force expressed as a percentage of the working-age population. Labour force participation is closely linked to how the working-age population is defined.

NEET (not in employment, education, or training): young people aged 15–24 years who are unemployed (part of the labour force) and not engaged in education or training, and those not in the labour force and not engaged in education or training for many reasons.

NEET rate: the total number of youth (aged 15–24 years) who are not in education, employment, or training (NEET), as a proportion of the total youth working-age population.

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

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

Part-time jobs: jobs where the employee works less than 30 hours per week.

Potential labour force: people who are not actively seeking but are available and wanting a job, and people who are actively seeking but not currently available for work, but will be available in the next four weeks.

Price index: measures the change in price between time periods for a given set of goods and
services. It summarises a set of prices for a variety of goods and services collected from a number of outlets.

Seasonally adjusted series: removes the seasonal component present when dealing with quarterly data. Seasonal patterns obscure the underlying behaviour of the series.

Statistically significant: statistical assessment of whether a change in the series is systematic or simply due to chance. Systematic movements occur when the change is greater than its respective sampling error.

Trend series: removes both the seasonal and irregular component of the series and reveals the underlying direction of movement in a series.

Underemployment: people who are in part-time employment who would like to, and are available to, work more hours.

Underemployment rate: the number of underemployed people expressed as a percentage of the employed population.

Underutilised: the sum of those unemployed, underemployed, and in the potential labour force.

Underutilisation rate: the number of underutilised people expressed as a proportion of those in the extended labour force.

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

Unemployment rate: the number of unemployed people expressed as a percentage of the labour force.

Union membership: whether an employee belongs to a union in their main job.

Working proprietors: includes sole proprietors, partners, or shareholders in a limited liability company who actively engage in the business or its management. Please note that working proprietors in businesses with no employees are outside the scope of the QES and are not included in the estimate of filled jobs.

Working-age population: the usually resident, non-institutionalised, civilian population of New Zealand aged 15 years and over. 

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