Labour force underutilisation rate in New Zealand

By sex, 2006 Q1–2018 Q1, % of the extended labour force


Employed: people in the working-age population who, during the reference week, did one of the following:
- worked for one hour or more for pay or profit in the context of an employee/employer relationship or self-employment
- worked without pay for one hour or more in work which contributed directly to the operation of a farm, business, or professional practice owned or operated by a relative
- had a job but were not at work due to: own illness or injury, personal or family responsibilities, bad weather or mechanical breakdown, direct involvement in an industrial dispute, or leave or holiday.

Working-age population: the usually resident, non-institutionalised, civilian population of New Zealand aged 15 years and over. This is the target population for this survey.

Labour force: members of the working-age population, who during the survey reference week, were classified as 'employed' or 'unemployed’.
Potential labour force: people who are not actively seeking but are available and wanting a job, and people who are actively seeking but not currently available for work, but will be available in the next four weeks.
Extended labour force: people in the labour force, or in the potential labour force.

Underemployed: people who are in part-time employment who would like to, and are available to, work more hours.
Unemployed: all people in the working-age population who, during the reference week, were without a paid job, available for work, and had either actively sought work in the past four weeks ending with the reference week, or had a new job to start within the next four weeks.

Underutilised: the sum of those unemployed, underemployed, and in the potential labour force.
Underutilisation rate: the number of underutilised people expressed as a proportion of those in the extended labour force.

For more information

Changes to data collection/processing

In the June quarter of 2016 a redeveloped version of the Household Labour Force Survey went into the field. The key purpose of the 2016 Household Labour Force Survey redevelopment was to improve the relevance and quality of the labour market statistics.
The new content includes more information about the nature of people’s employment conditions and work arrangements. This data can be used to better understand different patterns of employment.
The redeveloped HLFS also includes more detail from respondents who work in more than one job during a reference week. Multiple job holders are asked about the industry, occupation, employment status, and hours of their second job. Until now, the HLFS collected these details only on the respondents’ main job.

Data provided by

Stats NZ

Dataset name

Household Labour Force Survey: Underutilisation by Sex (Quarterly) March 2018


How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Work income and spending > Household Labour Force Survey - HLF > Underutilisation by Sex (Qrtly-Mar/Jun/Sep/Dec)'. All variables were selected to create this dataset.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Household Labour Force Survey: Underutilisation by Sex (Quarterly) March 2018

From the dataset Household Labour Force Survey: Underutilisation by Sex (Quarterly) March 2018, this data was extracted:

  • Rows: 5-61
  • Columns: 2-25
  • Provided: 1,368 data points

This data forms the table Labour Force - Underutilisation by sex 2004 Q1–2018 Q1.

Dataset originally released on:

May 02, 2018

Purpose of collection

The primary purpose of the survey is to estimate the number of people employed, unemployed, and not in the labour force (NILF), and from them, the unemployment rate for the New Zealand labour market. The Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) is designed to produce statistics at the family level, and use of the survey for a purpose for which it was not designed is inevitably subject to some limitations.