Māori labour market outcomes continue to improve

On: 16 February 2017

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has today released the 2016 Māori in the Labour Market report.

The report is an annual update of key labour market statistics, and provides information on employment by industry, occupation, and region for Māori. It highlights labour market performance for eight iwi regions over the past five years.

Labour Market and Business Performance Acting Manager Amapola Generosa says “the report suggests that overall labour market outcomes for Māori, while still below average, have improved over the past five years. Disparities in outcomes between Māori and total population reflect differences in levels of education, demographics, employment opportunities etc. Māori were also disproportionately affected by the global financial crisis (GFC) due to the occupations and industries in which Māori work”.

The report shows that, from 2011 to 2016:

  • Māori employment rate continued to increase but remained below the national rate. Since 2011, the Māori employment rate has risen by 2.6 percentage points to reach 59.4 per cent in 2016.
  • Employment rates for Māori increased with their level of education. Māori with bachelor and above degrees had higher employment rates than the Total All Ethnic Groups.
  • The number of Māori in employment continued to increase. Māori employment levels have increased since 2011, reaching a high of about 284,000 in 2016. Employment growth for Māori in recent years reflected overall employment and economic trends in the construction and services industries.
  • More Māori were employed in skilled occupations, particularly in professionals and technicians and trades occupation groups, than five years ago. However, the majority of Māori employment was concentrated in semi-skilled and low-skilled occupations.
  • More Māori were active in the labour market.The participation rate for Māori increased by 1.6 percentage points from five years ago to reach 66.8 per cent in 2016 but was still below the pre-GFC rate.
  • Māori unemployment rate declined by 1.8 percentage points since 2011 to reach 11.0 percent in 2016. The Māori unemployment rate, averaging 12.0 per cent over the five-year period, was double the average rate for Total All Ethnic Groups.
  • Regional performance improved, although some differences across regions remained. Unemployment rates for Māori fell in seven out of eight regions. The biggest falls were for Te Hauāuru and Te Whanganui ā Tara regions. Employment and participation rates also improved across most regions.

For more information on MBIE labour market analysis and to view the report, visit our website.

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