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Auckland regional household labour force survey: quarterly overview September 2020

Ross Wilson
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU | Statistics New Zealand
Publication date:  

An overview of labour force participation in Auckland, as indicated by results of Statistics New Zealand's quarterly Household Labour Force Survey. HLFS

Overview and highlights

For the quarter ended September 2020, compared to the preceding quarter (not seasonally

  • The number employed in Auckland fell by 18,000, and population (aged 15+) rose by 1700.
  • The overall unemployment rate was 5.6%, significantly higher1 than the previous quarter (4.0%).
  • However, there was no significant change in labour force participation rate (69.3% from 69.5%), and minimal rise in numbers “NILF” (not in the labour force).
  • Available but not “actively” seeking work fell slightly to 25,700.
  • Also, weekly hours worked remained at 37.8 (average of full and part-timers).
  • The NEET (not in employment, education or training) rate for youth aged 15-24 was 13.1%: similar to the preceding quarter (12.5%), but above a year earlier (9.3%).

Over the year ended September 2020:

  • The unemployment rate overall averaged 4.6% in the year ended September 2020, slightly above 4.3% in the year ended September 2019 and still low as an annual rate compared to around 2008.
  • The unemployment rate among those aged 15 to 19 averaged 16.4%, slightly lower than 19.1% a year prior (and still well below the peak of 30.9% in 2011).
  • The unemployment rate for females of all ages averaged 5.0%, similar to 4.8% a year prior, while the unemployment rate for males averaged 4.3%, higher than 3.8% a year prior. The gap between males and females (0.7%) has narrowed significantly compared to its peak in the year ended June 2015 (2.5%).
  • Unemployment rates among Māori (8.1%) and Pacific people (7.6%) were similar to a year prior (7.9% and 8.6% respectively), and remained higher than European (3.5%) and Asian (4.8 %) ethnic groups.
  • The labour force participation rate overall averaged 70.2%, similar to 71.0% a year prior, which among the highest ever (since at least 1986).
  • The labour force participation rate for females averaged 64.9%, still well above the trough in 2003 (57.2 %), but below the rate for males (75.6%).
  • The labour force participation rate for people aged 20-24 averaged 76.2%, still well above the trough in 2013 (67.2%), but still lower than the June 1998 peak (83.0%).

Overview published November 2020.