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Employment indicator series introduced

The new monthly employment indicator series, launched today, is a provisional series and measures filled jobs and gross earnings across the economy, Stats NZ said today.

“This new series provides an early indication of changes in the labour market,” economic indicators manager Sue Chapman said.

“Filled jobs are paid jobs that existed on the week ending the 20th of the month. In October 2019, there were 2.16 million filled jobs.”

In seasonally adjusted terms, filled jobs fell 0.4 percent from the September 2019 month.


The filled jobs series includes three broad industries.

In October 2019:
• Primary industries (agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining) had 99,000 filled jobs.
• Goods-producing industries (including manufacturing and construction) had 408,000 filled jobs.
• Services industries (including retail trade, wholesale trade, health and education) had 1.65 million filled jobs.

Gross earnings correspond to the amount paid to all employees in the month. Gross earnings for October 2019 were $12.2 billion.

About new employment indicator series has more information about the methodology of the new series.

Data quality statement

The monthly employment indicators are released on a provisional basis. They have been produced using data from two Inland Revenue sources: the Employer Monthly Schedule (EMS) from April 1999 to April 2019, and payday filing from May 2019 onwards. Since payday filing is a new data source, our ability to seasonally adjust the data is limited. As we learn more about the data, we will continue to refine our methodologies and incorporate any updates.

The largest updates are expected for the most recent months. Factors that will contribute to ongoing adjustments to our methods include:
• businesses that have been slow to transition from the EMS to payday filing
• variations in processing rates of payday data on a monthly basis
• definitional differences on how we measure filled jobs in the EMS and payday filing which may result in different seasonal patterns in aggregate series. It will take some time to understand how these differences will influence seasonal adjustment.


Feedback and questions

Employment indicators are part of our work to redevelop our Quarterly Employment Survey. As our understanding of the data improves, and our methodologies continue to develop, we will be making improvements to the series. We would like your feedback and questions about the data. Contact Sue Chapman (sue.chapman@stats.govt.nz).

Frequently asked questions

What sectors/industries will be available in the monthly employment indicator?
• Primary industries – ANZSIC06 divisions A (Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing) and B (Mining).
• Goods-producing industries – ANZSIC06 divisions C (Manufacturing) to E (Construction).
• Services industries – ANZSIC06 divisions F (Wholesale Trade) to S (Other Services).

Will the monthly employment indicator include a breakdown of filled jobs and earnings for specific sectors such as farming or construction? No

Will the monthly Employment Indicator include a regional breakdown of filled jobs? No, that level of data is available in LEED data, which is published with a lag of about a year.

Will the monthly filled jobs employment indicator be seasonally adjusted? Yes.

Will gross earnings be seasonally adjusted? No

What is the reference period for filled jobs in the monthly employment indicator? Week ending the 20th of the month.

What is the reference period for gross earnings in the monthly employment indicator? Earnings over the whole month.

What is the data source? Payday filing data is from businesses via Inland Revenue. Since April 2019, businesses have reported PAYE tax data to Inland Revenue each payday, rather than monthly. From April 1999 to April 2019 we will use the Employer Monthly Schedule (EMS).

Who is covered in the monthly employment indicator? Workers with wages or salaries taxed at source, employees on paid leave, non-NZ residents, armed forces, and self-employed with wages or salaries. Contractors are excluded.

What’s next? There will be a redevelopment of the current Quarterly Employment Survey in 2020. Further information will be released when it is available.

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