The unemployment rate reflects labour market conditions. It measures the proportion of people in the labour force who are unemployed. Data is available from 1986.

Data for the graph below is available in a spreadsheet containing all key graph data (XLSX <200KB).

Employment & unemployment

Key graph: employment

Unemployment is defined as being without paid work, where a person was available for and actively seeking work. The labour force includes all people who are employed and unemployed – that is, all people who are either in paid work or actively seeking it. 

New Zealand's official employment and unemployment statistics are sourced from Stats NZ's Household Labour Force Survey. Data on the number of people employed in New Zealand and the unemployment rate is available from 1986 in the key graph data file.