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Labour Force Participation of New Zealanders Aged 65 Years and Over: 1986–2006

This study uses census data to examine and discuss trends in the labour force participation of older New Zealanders (aged 65 years and over). The analysis spans the 20-year period 1986–2006, which witnessed some major changes in the New Zealand economy, retirement policies, the labour market, immigration policy, as well as dramatic shifts in our external migration balance, making the disentangling of the 'cause and effect' relationship a challenging task.

While this report was still in its final stages, the world suddenly faced a global financial crisis. Its likely economic fallout, especially the downsizing or possible closure of companies, staff lay-offs, and a tightening job market, could mean somewhat limited employment prospects for older workers in the immediate future. This makes reliable extrapolation of recent trends into the foreseeable future rather problematical, if not impossible.

This report was prepared by Mansoor Khawaja and Bill Boddington of the Social and Population Statistics group in 2009. 

Tables updated

Tables containing updated information from the 2013 Census have been added for people who require more recent data. These additional tables include updated data for figures 8 and 9.

Information and feedback

If you have any queries or would like to offer feedback, please contact:

Statistics New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 964 8700
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Updated 7 January 2016

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