|Unit||Ths. NZD, SA|
|Labor Force||2019 Q4||2,760||2,761||Ths. #, SA||Quarterly|
|Labor Force Employment||2019 Q4||2,648||2,647||Ths. #, SA||Quarterly|
|Tertiary Industries Employment||2019||1,345,300||1,320,100||#||Annual|
|Unemployment||2019 Q4||111||114||Ths. #, SA||Quarterly|
|Unemployment Rate||2019 Q4||4||4.1||%, SA||Quarterly|
|Wage & Salaries||2019 Q4||2,049,910||2,025,820||Ths. NZD, SA||Quarterly|
The Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) is designed to measure quarterly estimates of change in, and levels of, average hourly and average weekly (pre-tax) earnings, average weekly paid hours, and the number of filled jobs.
Operation of the survey
QES statistics are derived quarterly from approximately 18,000 surveyed business locations in a range of industries and regions throughout New Zealand. Information relates to the payweek ending on, or immediately before, the 20th of the middle month of the quarter. Therefore, the reference months are February, May, August and November.
The QES is a panel survey. This means that all businesses in the sample are surveyed in each quarter until the sample is reselected or redesigned. Some businesses are rotated out when the sample is reselected or redesigned. The need to maintain a sample that provides good coverage of economic activity means that smaller businesses have a higher chance of being rotated out of the sample than larger ones. Between a sample reselection or redesign, businesses are removed if they cease or stop employing staff. A sample of new businesses and businesses that come into the scope of the survey is also introduced each quarter.
Results from the quarterly (monitoring) samples are available approximately three months after the survey reference month.
The survey population comprises all business locations owned by economically significant enterprises in surveyed industries that employ staff.
An economically significant enterprise is one that meets at least one of the following criteria:
The following Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) industries are excluded from coverage:
|A02||Services to agriculture|
|I6301||International sea transport|
|L7711||Residential property operators|
|M813||Foreign government representation|
|Q97||Private households employing staff.|
Non-civilian staff in ANZSIC classification M82 Defence are also excluded.
Addition of businesses to the QES sample
In each quarter, businesses enter or leave the sample in order to make it as representative as possible of the surveyed industries.
There are three types of businesses that enter the sample (known as sample births):
It should be noted that the QES measures the number of filled jobs, not the number of people employed. Individuals with more than one job are counted at each workplace. Filled-job figures comprise QES estimates of full-time and part-time paid employees at surveyed business locations in surveyed industries, plus working proprietors in those locations and industries. This measure excludes jobs held by those in working proprietor-only businesses
Glossary of terms
The QES average earnings statistic does not provide a reliable measure of wage inflation. The QES movements shown by average earnings statistics are influenced not only by changes in employees' remuneration (resulting from changes in wage rates), salaries and paid hours but also by changes in the composition of the paid workforce from survey to survey.
Movements in average earnings statistics are influenced not only by changes in employees' remuneration resulting from changes in wage rates, salaries and hours worked but also by changes in the composition of the paid workforce from survey to survey. A measure that separates out the effects of employee remuneration and compositional changes in the workforce on these movements is not available.
Compositional changes that may affect movements in average earnings statistics and changes in weighted contributions include changes in the relative numbers of employees and their paid hours. These changes occur between males and females, full-timers and part-timers, different industries or within industries, and between different sectors or within sectors. (See the following section, Changes in weighted contribution, for more information.)
This means that the QES does not provide a good measure of pure wage inflation, as it is not possible to isolate shifts in numbers of employees and paid hours from pure wage increases. The QES collects total payout information for each business in the survey. An increase (or decrease) in total payout does not necessarily indicate that there has been an increase (or decrease) in wages. Total payout for a firm could have increased because more people were employed, more hours were worked, more qualified people were employed, or more full-time workers were employed. Survey respondents are not asked to explain changes in total payout from period to period; therefore, there is no way to isolate a pure wage increase.
Key points to note
Average ordinary time earnings include all shift, penal and other allowances: bonuses; paid leave; and commissions earned in the survey payweek. Payments not earned in the week (such as back pay, redundancy and severance pay) and non-taxable payments (such as tool money) are excluded. In contrast, the Labour Cost Index (LCI) excludes irregular payments such as bonuses and commissions, and also excludes increases in salary and wage rates due to service increments and merit promotions. Casual employees and those employees temporarily absent from work due to sickness, leave, industrial disputes and being temporarily laid off are included only if they are paid in the survey reference week.