Māori Employment

Māori Employment

Over the last decade the Māori unemployment rate improved from 14.8% in September 1999 to 7.9% in the September year 2008. Similarly, there were improvements in Māori long term unemployment rates (i.e. those unemployed for more than 26 weeks) during this period.

Falling unemployment has been matched with increasing Māori labour force participation, which has continued to improve since 1999.

Given the rapidly changing economic conditions internationally, it is very difficult to forecast future Māori employment outcomes with any certainty. On the basis of the information available to it, Te Puni Kōkiri considers that a likely scenario is for a rise in Māori unemployment to 12-15% by mid 2010.1

Table 1: Māori Labour Market Trends, September 1999-2008

Table 1: Māori Labour Market Trends, September 1999-2008
September QuarterLabour Force Participation Rate2 Employment Rate3 Unemployment Rate4 Youth Unemployment Rate5 Long Term Unemployment Rate6
199962.052.814.824.3 5.9
200163.555.712.327.7 4.2
200365.759.39.720.7 2.9
200567.160.89.428.3 2.3
200767.462.08.023.7 1.3

Source: Household Labour Force Survey, Statistics New Zealand (2008)


1 This forecast is based on a Treasury forecast of a rise in general unemployment to 5.7% over the next 2 years with anassumption that Māori unemployment will continue to be at least double the general rate. There are also initial signs of aneconomic slowdown in construction, tourism and primary industries. Māori are strongly represented in each of these sectors.
2 Labour Force Participation Rate is the total Labour Force divided by Working-Age population.
3 Employment Rate is the Total Employed divided by Working-Age population.
4 Unemployment Rate is the Total Unemployed divided by Total Labour Force.
5 Youth Unemployment Rate is number of unemployed youths aged 15-19 years divided by total number of youths in the labour force aged 15-19 years.
6 Long Term Unemployment Rate is all persons 15 years and over unemployed for more than 26 weeks divided by Total LabourForce.

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