Jobs in NZ
Long term changes
from The Jobs Letter No.18 / 29 May 1995
The new face of working New Zealand is clearly described in the latest Statistics NZ
report "Labour Market 1994". The report shows that the 40-hr working week seems to be a thing of
the past, as two-thirds of the labour force now working only part-time or more than 40 hrs.
The report also shows a change in the demographics of work with many older people now
working beyond what used to be called the "normal" retirement age of 60 yrs. The statistics in the
report were based on the year to March 1994. Key points :
THE PASSING OF THE 40 HOUR JOB
We now have a broad three-way split in the shape of
our labour force : about a third of the people are working part-time, a third are working around
about 40 hrs a week, and a about a third are working more than 40 hrs a week. Of the people
working part-time, the majority were women. Of the people working dis-proportionally long hours,
most of them are men.
- THE RISE OF OVERWORK.
Of the people who are working longer hours, the survey found more
than 130,000 people who are routinely working 60 hrs a week, and more than 50,000 of these
people who are putting in more than 70 hrs a week.
- OVERWORKED AND UNDERPAID
Much of the extra work being done is unpaid. The report says
that while the average weekly hours worked at ordinary time has increased each year between
1991-1994, the number of paid hours on overtime actually decreased.
- THE RISE OF SELF- EMPLOYEMENT
Self employed people have risen every year since 1987 to
number 180,200 people today. Those working the very long hours tend also to be self-employed
people. They have the incentive to work these long hours ... or else many of them would be going broke.
More jobs, fewer unemployed. The numbers in employment increased by almost 40
thousand during the year to more than 1.5 million people. The numbers of unemployed dropped by
17,200 to 155,400 people.
- MANUFACTURING IS HOT
Manufacturing made up the biggest growth sector in the economy
with 20,000 more people employed compared to the previous year.
- PART- TIME WORK IS UP
The number of people in part-time work increased by 7,200 people,
making up 21% of all those employed. Part-time employees increased 18% between 1990-1994,
while full-time employees fell 4.67% over the same period.
- THE OLDER EMPLOYED
31% of older people between 60-64 years are still in the paid
workforce, and this figure is up from 25% the previous year. These people working in their 60's
working beyond what used to be the "normal" retirement age seem mainly worried about their
entitlements for superannuation. This trend of the 60+ staying in work has closely matched the rise
in the age at which they are entitled to national superannuation.
- LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED
Almost half of al unemployed have been that way for more than
- MATURE UNEMPLOYED
Although unemployment has dropped with the growth in the
economy, more people in their forties and fifties are now out of work. The 40-44 age group and the
50-54 age group were the only ones to record an increase in unemployment in the last year.
- YOUTH UNEMPLOYED
Young people have the highest unemployment rate ... about a third of
the unemployed are aged under 25 years. One in five people aged 15-19 yrs are trying to get into
- QUALIFIED UNEMPLOYED
People without qualifications had an unemployment rate of 14.9%
compared with 5.5% for people holding school and post-school qualifications.
Average Wage. The average total weekly earnings increased 1.2% in the year to Feb 94,
from $585.31 to $592.55. This increase was due mostly to a higher hourly rate and employees
working more hours.
Labour Market 1994, a report from Statistics NZ ($39.95)
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