Outcome One: Prosperous and adaptable people, sectors and regions

The world is changing and evolving at an increasing pace, and it is important that people, sectors and regions can adapt to ensure prosperity in our current environment, and as we prepare for an uncertain world.

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Our work at MBIE supports the many diverse communities that make up New Zealand and helps regions identify opportunities to improve local economic growth, community wellbeing and contribute to New Zealand’s overall prosperity.

Our priorities with this outcome include lifting productivity and generating more fulfilling jobs, lifting the amount and impact of research, development and innovation, and developing key sectors that drive growth at regional and national levels.

Productivity statistics are often analysed across growth cycles. Average annual labour productivity growth of 1.0% in the current cycle (2008 to present) is slightly less than what was experienced in the previous cycle (1.3% from 2000 to 2008).

The Government’s wage subsidy scheme continues to be one of the main pillars steadying the economy during COVID-19 and has had the intended effect, with reported layoffs in New Zealand significantly lower than in Australia, despite a larger fall in business revenues in New Zealand.

Although working from home was an involuntary change for many New Zealanders, the sentiment to continue with these arrangements signal a huge change in our work behaviour and a willingness and ability to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances.

While incomes are down due to COVID-19 (with people earning less due to the closure of some workplaces), wellbeing remains high. Statistics show New Zealanders generally feel good about the state of their world, despite the state of the world.

What we're working towards

Performance measure Indicator Current trend Desired trend Commentary
Increase household incomes Total real household median weekly income from all sources, by region Decrease
Total real household median income (from all sources, based on 2012 prices) in the year to June 2020 was $1,586 per week, a decrease of $36 or 2.2% compared to 2019. This decrease comes after nearly a decade of increases. Labour market statistics were collected throughout the June quarter, and so represent the average state of the labour market across all four alert levels. Also, the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy mitigated some of the effects of the lockdown, which can be seen in some of the common indicators.
Increase labour productivity Labour productivity growth Decrease
Labour productivity growth was 0.5% in the year to March 2019, down from 0.6% in the previous year. The five-year (2014–2019) compound annual growth rate was 0.8%, down from 0.9% in the previous period (2013–2018).
Decrease income inequality Percentile ratio (P80:20) of household income after housing costs for all households Increase
Income for the top 20% of households was 3.05 times that of the lowest 20% (after adjusting for housing costs) in 2018. This ratio is a measure of household income inequality. The five-year average value was 3.07. While this five-year average has fallen slightly in the last few years, it has been fairly stable since 2011.