Labour Force - Employment types by disability status 2017 Q2–2020 Q4

Stats NZ


'Employer' refers to people who employ others in their own business.
'Unpaid family worker' refers to people who work without pay in a family business.
Those who have not stated an employment status are not shown in the data.
Those who have not specified a disability status are included in the totals only.


Disabled people: those who have at least a lot of difficulty seeing or hearing (even with glasses or hearing aids), walking or climbing stairs, remembering or concentrating, self-care, or communicating.

Labour force: members of the working-age population, who during the survey reference week, were classified as 'employed' or 'unemployed’.
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.
Not in the labour force: any person in the working-age population who is neither employed nor unemployed. For example, this residual category includes people who:
- are retired
- have personal or family responsibilities such as unpaid housework and childcare
- attend educational institutions
- are permanently unable to work due to physical or mental disabilities,
- were temporarily unavailable for work in the survey reference week
- are not actively seeking work.
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.
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.
Underutilisation rate: the number of underutilised people expressed as a proportion of those in the extended labour force.
Underemployment rate: the number of underemployed people expressed as a proportion of those employed.

Data calculation/treatment

The Washington Group Short Set of questions on disability have been included in June quarters of the household labour force survey (HLFS) since 2017. In 2020 these questions were also included in the December quarter. This is to allow more regular data on how the economic consequences of COVID-19 have impacted disabled people, and to better monitor how they are faring over the COVID-19 recovery period.
Disability status is determined by a set of questions (The Washington Group Short Set), that ask respondents about their ability to carry out six basic activities.
The activities are:
-seeing, even if wearing glasses
-hearing, even if using a hearing aid
-walking or climbing steps
-remembering or concentrating
-washing all over or dressing

The response options are:
-no difficulty
-some difficulty
-a lot of difficulty
-can’t do at all.
People who respond ‘a lot of difficulty’ or ‘can’t do at all’ to at least one of the activities are counted as disabled in the survey.

For more information

Limitations of the data

To reduce respondent burden, households made up of only people aged 75 years and over are only interviewed when they first enter the HLFS, and in subsequent June quarters. Labour market information for these households tends not to change much from quarter-to-quarter, so their previous responses are carried over. However, this does mean that we up to date disability data on older people is not accurate.
People aged 65 years and over are less likely to participate in the labour market, and often have quite different outcomes to younger people. Stats NZ, therefore, restricted the data in this release to the 15–64 years age group.

Changes to data collection/processing

This release incorporates revisions to historical household labour force survey data to account for the latest national population estimates. As such, figures published in this update may differ from those previously published.

Data provided by

Stats NZ

Dataset name

Household Labour Force Survey: Labour market statistics (disability) December 2020 quarter


How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Labour market statistics (disability): December 2020 quarter' file from the Download data section.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Household Labour Force Survey: Labour market statistics (disability) December 2020 quarter

From the dataset Household Labour Force Survey: Labour market statistics (disability) December 2020 quarter, this data was extracted:

  • Sheet: Table 7
  • Range: C12:F32
  • Provided: 60 data points

Dataset originally released on:

February 12, 2021

About this dataset

Labour market statistics (disability) provides comparisons between labour market measures for disabled and non-disabled people in New Zealand. Information includes labour market participation and employment rates as well as differences in wages and salaries received.

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.