Pacific Peoples labour market trends

The Pacific Peoples labour market trends report provides information on national employment by industry, occupation, and regional employment for Pacific Peoples.

September 2018 report

The Pacific Peoples Labour Market Trends September 2018 report provides information on national employment by industry, occupation, and regional employment for Pacific Peoples.

Pacific Peoples Labour Market Trends – September 2018 [PDF, 187 KB]

A summary of the data will be available soon.

June 2017 summary

Labour market outcomes for Pacific peoples improved over the year to June 2017.

  • Employment was up 11,600 to 140,900 workers over the year.
  • Participation rate increased to 67.3%, up 3.7 percentage points from a year ago.
  • Unemployment rate rose by 0.1pp (percentage points) from a year ago to 10.2%.
  • The annual average NEET rate rose from 17.0% to 17.8% in June 2017.

Employment outcomes improved for Pacific peoples in the year to June 2017. Compared with a year ago, 11,600 (or 9%) more Pacific peoples were employed.

The rise in employment was driven by higher employment over the year in:

  • the accommodation and food services
  • education and training
  • transport and warehousing
  • information management
  • communications’ industries.

The employment rates were also up in 5 out of 6 age groups in June 2017.

The unemployment rate for Pacific women rose by 0.1pp (percentage points) over the past year, with more Pacific women unemployed, up to 7,878 in June 2017 from 7,800 in June 2016. The unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points for Pacific men.

The annual average NEET rate rose from 17.0% to 17.8% in June 2017. About 12,300 Pacific youth were not in education, employment and training.

Labour force participation

Pacific peoples’ participation rate up over the year

More Pacific peoples are active in the labour market. In June 2017, there were 233,300 Pacific peoples of working age. Of these, 156,900 were in the labour market. The participation rate for Pacific peoples increased 3.7 percentage points over the year to 67.3%. This improvement was due to increased participation rates in most age groups, and for both males (up 4 pp to 74.2%) and females (up 3.3 pp to 61%).

By region, participation rates of Pacific peoples in the South Island were higher than in the North Island. The participation rate in Auckland was 65.1% and 69.8% in Wellington.

Figure 1. Pacific Peoples' Participation rate by region, June 2017
pacific fig1

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey; MBIE

The data table for this figure can be found at the bottom of this page

Unemployment

Pacific Peoples' unemployment rate increased to 10.2%

The unemployment rate for Pacific peoples was 10.2% in the year to June 2017, which was 0.1 percentage points above its level of a year ago. The unemployment rate for all people was 5.0% in the year to June 2017.

For women, the unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points over the past year, up to 8,200 in June 2017 from 7,800 in June 2016. The unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage points for Pacific men.

Figure 2. Pacific peoples' Unemployment rate by region, March 2009 to June 2017
pacific fig2

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey; MBIE

The data table for this figure can be found at the bottom of this page

Employment

Strong employment outcomes for Pacific peoples

Employment outcomes improved for Pacific peoples in June 2017. Compared with a year ago, 11,600 (or 9%) more Pacific peoples were employed. The rise in employment was driven by higher employment in the accommodation and food services, education and training, transport warehousing, information management and communications’ industries, over the year. The employment rates were also up in 4 out of 6 age groups in June 2017.

Differences in Pacific peoples’ employment across the regions continue. Pacific peoples in the South Island had the highest employment rate (68.7%) in the year to June 2017. This compares with 63.8% in Wellington and 58.9% in Auckland. Auckland is where most Pacific peoples live. About 65.5% of the total Pacific peoples’ labour force (or 102,700 people) is in Auckland and 11.6% (or 18,200) in Wellington.

Figure 3. Pacific peoples' Employment rate by region, June 2017
pacific fig3

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey; MBIE

The data table for this figure can be found at the bottom of this page

Employment - Industry

Pacific peoples' employment grew in most industries

In June 2017, industries employing most Pacific peoples’ workers were manufacturing, wholesale and retail, health care and social assistance.

Over the year, Pacific peoples’ employment grew in most industries. The strongest annual growth was in accommodation and food services (35.7% or 2,400 workers) followed by education and training (24.5% or 1,900 workers).

Table 1. Number of people employed by industry – Pacific peoples, June 2017

Industry (ANZSIC06)

Mar 17

Change

Annual

Three-year

Agriculture Forestry Fishing and Mining

3,700

↑ 20.3%

↑ 28.6%

Manufacturing

23,400

↑ 3.5%

↑ 15.9%

Utilities and Construction

17.000

↑ 15.1%

↑ 78.1%

Wholesale & Retail

17,400

↑ 1.1%

↑ 18.6%

Accommodation & Food Services

9,100

↑ 35.7%

↑ 98.2%

Transport Warehousing IM & Communications

13,300

↑ 22.3%

↑ 54.0%

Financial and Insurance

4,200

↑ 17.7%

↑ 60.9%

Other Business Services*

11,700

↑ 6.6%

↑ 19.9%

Public Admin and Safety

9,100

↑ 15.9%

↑ 31.8%

Education and Training

9,600

↑ 24.5%

↑ 33.9%

Health Care and Social Assistance

13,800

↓ 10.5%

↑ 1.2%

Other Services

5,500

↓ 14.1%

↑ 3.8%

Total Employed
(including Not Specified)

140,900

↑ 9.0%

↑ 32.2%

Note: The sum of employment by industry may not equal total employed due to rounding. The smaller estimates are subject to large sampling errors. The above figures are annual average, and may differ from Statistics New Zealand's published figures.

*Includes rental, hiring & real estate services, administrative & support services, and professional, scientific & technical services, and other services.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey; MBIE

Figure 4. Pacific peoples and All Ethnic Groups employment share by Industry, June 2017
pacific fig4

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey; MBIE

The data table for this figure can be found at the bottom of this page

Employment - Occupation

Pacific representation in skilled occupations has improved.

Pacific peoples in skilled occupations reached 48,100 workers in June 2017, an increase of 3,000 workers from a year ago (up 6.7%).

Over the year, employment in most occupation groups increased. The biggest increases in Pacific peoples’ employment were in

  • plant workers (20.6% or 3,000 workers)
  • managers (25.8% or 2,800 workers)
  • labourers (8.6% or 2,200 workers).

These occupation groups make up 69.0 per cent of the total increase in Pacific peoples’ employment for June 2017.

Figure 5. Pacific peoples' employment by occupation, June 2017
pacific fig5

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey; MBIE

The data table for this figure can be found at the bottom of this page

Figure 6. Pacific Peoples and All Ethnic Groups employment by occupations, June 2017
pacific fig6

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey; MBIE

The data table for this figure can be found at the bottom of this page

Not in employment, education and training (NEET)

More Pacific peoples were NEET.

The proportion of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) is used as an indicator of youth disengagement.

In June 2017, there were about 69,100 Pacific peoples aged 15-24 years. Of these, about 12,300 people were NEET, an increase of 1,000 from a year ago. The NEET rate for Pacific peoples was 17.8% in June 2017.

Among Pacific peoples aged 15-24 years, 16.9% of males and 18.6% of females were NEET in June 2017. The Pacific NEET rate has been consistently higher than that of other ethnic groups for both males and females.

The NEET rate for males increased over the year, while the rate for females decreased. Over the past 3 years, Pacific peoples had a lower NEET rate than that of Māori.

Table 2. NEET rate by major ethnic groups, June 2017

Ethnic group

Jun 17

Change

Annual

Three-year

European

10.3

↑ 1.2pp

↑ 0.7pp

Māori

20.1

↑ 0.4pp

↓ 1.2pp

Pacific peoples

17.8

↑ 0.8pp

↓ 1.3pp

Asian

9.7

↑ 1.2pp

↑ 3.7pp

Total all ethnic groups

12.2

↑ 0.9pp

↑ 0.7pp

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey; MBIE

 

Table 3. Pacific peoples' NEET rate by gender, June 2017

Gender

 

 

Jun 17

Change

Annual

Three-year

Male

16.9

↑ 3.5pp

↑ 0.8pp

Female

18.6

↓ 2.1pp

↓ 3.3pp

Total

17.8

↑ 0.8pp

↓ 1.3pp

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey; MBIE

About the data

For the purposes of this factsheet “total response” data is used. This means that Pacific Peoples refers to everyone who has selected that ethnic group, regardless of whether they have also selected another group. The subnational estimates (ie, regional breakdown or ethnic group) are subject to larger sampling errors than the national estimates. Therefore, caution is needed when using and interpreting subnational estimates.

Data tables
Last updated: 28 January 2019