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Employment Outpaces Strongest Population Growth

Employment Outpaces Strongest Population Growth

newzealandmapRising employment is more than keeping up with our growing population, while unemployment has fallen to 5.4 percent, Statistics New Zealand said this month.

“Due to strong migration, we have had the largest annual rise in the population in 10 years,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said. “We had 72,000 more people employed over the year, greater than the additional 64,000 people in the population. This pushed our employment rate up, to 65.2 of every 100 adults being in employment.”

“While employment has grown strongly, the picture for wages is mixed,” Ms Ramsay said. Annual wage inflation was 1.6 percent, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI). This is in line with the past four quarters. Although private sector wage inflation was 1.9 percent, growth in pay rates for the public sector has slowed to 1.0 percent.

The number of people employed has grown 3.2 percent since September 2013, in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Demand for workers from established businesses rose 3.0 percent in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) – the largest annual increase in over six years.

The construction industry accounted for almost half the annual employment growth. Just over 40 percent of the growth in this industry was in Canterbury, with a further 17 percent being in Auckland.


Our labour market indicators include the HLFS, QES, and LCI. The HLFS is a broad measure of labour market activity by individuals, while the QES measures demand by established firms for paid work and hourly earnings. The LCI is a measure of wage inflation. Results from all three surveys are based on representative samples from across New Zealand. Explaining labour market statistics has more information on these indicators.

Statistics New Zealand