Migrant Employment Data

The Migrant Employment Data (MED) combines Immigration New Zealand’s visa data with Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax data to provide measures of how many people are engaged in the labour market each month, by industry, visa type, geographic area, and demographic characteristics.

Data source

Stats NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) is a powerful unit-record level research database that holds data on people living in New Zealand. By joining this data to Immigration New Zealand’s administrative data on people’s visa status, we produce a detailed dataset that we then aggregate to form the MED.

The following disclaimer applies to the MED. If you publish data from the MED, we ask that you publish this disclaimer alongside the data, in compliance with Stats NZ's policies:

This report contains output produced from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI), managed by Stats NZ. The results are not official statistics. They have been created for research purposes from the IDI.

The opinions, findings, recommendations, and conclusions expressed in this report are those of the authors, not Stats NZ.

Access to the anonymised data used in this study was provided by Stats NZ under the security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. Only people authorised by the Statistics Act 1975 are allowed to see data about a particular person, household, business, or organisation, and the results in this report have been confidentialised to protect these groups from identification and to keep their data safe.

Careful consideration has been given to the privacy, security and confidentiality issues associated with using administrative and survey data in the IDI. Further detail can be found in the Privacy impact assessment for the IDI available from the Stats NZ website.

Stats NZ(external link)

More information about the IDI(external link) — Stats NZ 

How to use the Migrant Employment Data

Inland Revenue’s PAYE tax data only covers waged and salaried people; as such the Migrant Employment Data series does not cover unemployed people, or people who are self-employed.

In order to make our data as timely as possible, we use a combination of monthly data (which has been fully integrated with Stats NZ’s IDI) and weekly pay-day filing data. This ensures our data is as up-to-date as possible, but also means that you may see revisions as the weekly data is integrated into the IDI. Where this is the case, we’ll mark which data is provisional and which is final.

If you need to calculate totals when using the Migrant Employment Data, we recommend that you use the supplied aggregate values rather than summing together individual values. Random rounding introduces a small amount of uncertainty into each value, and as you add these counts together, the uncertainty gets larger through a process known as ‘compounding’. For more information on how this may affect your data, we recommend contacting us.

MED latest release

This data, released on the 5 May 2024, includes final data till November 2023 and provisional data to February 2024.

Download the most recent datasets and associated data dictionaries here:

Please refer to the data dictionaries for more information on the Migrant Employment Data.

Release notes

New Ministry of Social Development outputs

The dataset 'Ministry of Social Development region output' has now been replaced with 2 new datasets 'Ministry of Social Development Territorial Authority Region Output' and 'Ministry of Social Development Sector Output'. This dataset has been replaced on request from the Ministry of Social Development.

Working Holiday Scheme Visa Revisions

There have been revisions in the MED data for the working holiday scheme visa for March, April and May 2023 due to input data quality – a decrease of 549 (2.8%), 693 (3.2%) and 873 (4.0%) people respectively. We are closely monitoring these revisions, please let us know if you have any concerns.

Data spike in 2019

There is a spike in the MED standard output for unknown industries for the period of October 2019 to November 2019. This spike originates from the Inland Revenue Employment Monthly Schedule (IR EMS) data. This does not significantly affect any of the industry outputs.

Future releases

Migrant Employment Data is released quarterly. The data has a lag of approximately 3 months (so for example the data released in September 2021 would be current to June 2021). We currently distribute this data through 2 different channels:

  • Through an SQL database for stakeholders within MBIE. We notify our stakeholders when the data is updated, so they can pull the new data as required.
  • As a series of Zipped CSV files to both internal and external stakeholders. This lets our stakeholders explore the data without setting up a database connection.

Contact us for more information

The Migrant Employment Data is produced by MBIE’s Migration Research team in Evidence & Insights. We encourage your questions and feedback. We’re always looking to find new stakeholders who are interested in our data and want to join us in growing New Zealand for all. You can reach our team at: migration_evidence_insights@mbie.govt.nz.

Last updated: 05 June 2024