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How regional estimates are affected by the rebase

This section outlines the effects of the rebase, including regional benchmarks, on our regional labour force estimates.

While the unadjusted working-age population for New Zealand was revised downwards, Auckland region was revised upwards for most of the time series. The working-age population for Auckland has decreased before mid-1990, and increased from 1991 to 2014.

The number of people employed in Auckland followed the same movement as the working-age population, with an upward revision for the year ended December 2014.

Figure 6

Graph, Working-age population, Auckland region, quarterly, March 1986 to December 2014.

Bay of Plenty’s working-age population had the largest percentage upward revision of all the regions. For the year ended December 2014 we revised it to be 10.9 percent higher than before the rebase.

In contrast, we have been overestimating the working-age population growth in Canterbury for most of the time series. For the year ended December 2014 it had the largest percentage downward revision of all the regions. Before the rebase, our estimations of the working-age population in Canterbury had fluctuated over time. Introducing the regional benchmarks has smoothed out the series, which now shows a steady increase since the post-earthquake dip in June 2012. The number of people employed in Canterbury was also revised downwards for most of the time series.

Figure 7

Graph, Working-age population, Canterbury region, quarterly, March 1986 to December 2014.

As shown in table 2, the levels for the upper North Island (Northland, Auckland, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty) were underestimated over the December 2014 year, while lower North Island and South Island levels were generally overestimated.

Table 2 
Percentage change between originally published and revised key estimates

By region
Year ended December 2014(1)

 

Employed 

Unemployed 

Not in the labour force 

Working-age population 

 

Percent 

Northland 

+3.8 

+5.6 

+5.7 

+4.6 

Auckland 

+1.6 

+2.8 

+3.2 

+2.1 

Waikato 

+5.0 

+4.8 

+6.4 

+5.4 

Bay of Plenty 

+10.6 

+9.6 

+11.6 

+10.9 

Gisborne/Hawke's Bay 

-5.1 

-3.5 

-5.1 

-5.1 

Taranaki 

-5.7 

-5.4 

-5.2 

-5.5 

Manawatu-Wanganui 

-4.8 

-3.5 

-5.0 

-4.8 

Wellington 

-3.3 

-3.4 

-2.5 

-3.1 

Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough/West Coast 

-4.1 

-2.7 

-3.8 

-4.0 

Canterbury 

-10.1 

-8.7 

-10.6 

-10.2 

Otago 

-8.2 

-8.6 

-8.1 

-8.2 

Southland 

-0.7 

+0.8 

-0.2 

-0.6 

All regions 

-1.6 

+0.2 

-0.3 

-1.1 

1. Calculated as the average of the four quarters in 2014. 

It is important to note that estimates based on small sample sizes have a greater potential to be affected by the revisions. 

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