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Indicator 13: Unemployment rate

Indicator 13: Unemployment rate of older persons benchmarked against the labour force under 60 years of age, by sex and ethnicity.
Indicator is fully reported? Yes; data that is not available in published reports is available on request from Statistics New Zealand, or from its website using one of its online tools (Table Builder).
Type of indicator Outcome indicator Outcome indicator
Other relevant indicators Labour-force participation and employment rates – see Madrid indicator 12.
Our findings

Unemployment creates a measurable cost for the economy and individuals. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people expressed as a percentage of the labour force.[1]

Quarterly data

Statistics New Zealand publishes quarterly information from the Household Labour Force Survey.[2]

Figure 1 shows the unemployment rate in five-year age groups compared to people aged 65+. It shows that unemployment was highest for 15-19 year-olds and was lowest for people aged 65+.

Longer-term data

We reviewed the data for the year ending in September from 1987 to 2012. We found that it was consistent with the data in Figure 1, which is that unemployment was highest in the younger age groups and generally decreased with age. However, there was some variation from year to year.

Understanding unemployment statistics

In 2010, Statistics New Zealand published A Guide to Unemployment Statistics.[3] The guide gives an overview of each indicator, what they measure, how they are different from each other, and how they can best be used by the media, stakeholders, policy makers, and others.

How entities use the data The data provides public entities and the private sector with useful information for policy development and planning.
Entity responsible for this indicator
Statistics New Zealand

Figure 1: Unemployment rate by age group, December 2011 and December 2012

Figure 1: Unemployment rate by age group, December 2011 and December 2012.

Source: Table 4 of the data tables for the December 2012 quarter, www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/HouseholdLabourForceSurvey_HOTPDec12qtr.aspx. Data for December 2011 for age 65+ was suppressed to meet data quality standards.


[1] www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/HouseholdLabourForceSurvey_HOTPDec12qtr/Definitions.aspx.

[2] www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/household-labour-force-survey-info-releases.aspx. Data by age and sex is available on Infoshare.

[3] www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/a-guide-to-unemployment-stats.aspx.

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