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Self-employed Earn More

Embargoed until 10:45am — 24 October 2006

Self-employed Earn More

Median annual earnings of self-employed people rose by 24.9 percent between 2000 and 2005, compared with a rise of 14.0 percent for wage and salary earners. This means that the median earnings for the self-employed ($30,350) are now higher than salary and wage earners ($29,280).

The number of wage and salary earners outgrew the number of self-employed between 2000 and 2005. There was a 2.2 percent increase in the number of self-employed persons, while the number of wage and salary earners grew by 20.9 percent over that time.

Self-employed people who employ others are an important source of employment. Nearly half of all self-employed employ at least one other person, representing a 10.0 percent increase since 2000. Over the same time period, the number of self-employed who did not employ others fell by 4.5 percent.

These results come from new statistics released today from Linked Employer-Employee Data (LEED). LEED uses information from existing taxation and Statistics New Zealand sources to provide a range of information on the dynamics of the New Zealand labour market. New statistics have been produced for the first time on income transitions, job tenure, multiple job holding and self-employed people.

Using administrative data allows Statistics New Zealand to produce new statistics with regional and industry detail without increasing the survey burden on respondents.

Statistics New Zealand strictly safeguards the privacy, security and confidentiality of individuals' details. No information on a person or specific business can be identified from published LEED statistics.

More detailed statistics from LEED are available on the Statistics NZ website (

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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