There are currently 2.6 million people in the labour force.
“The labour force will grow into the future, but at a slowing rate, reflecting what is happening with our population,” population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.
“In the long term, slower population growth and our increasingly older age structure will slow labour force growth, providing the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation remains the same.”
New Zealanders 65 and above will make up an increasing share of the labor force to 9% in the late 2020s, up from just 1% in 1991. The current share of 65+ is 6%.85% of people in their 50s are in the labor force this year; this is seen to increase to 88% in 2038 and 89% in 2068.
Meanwhile, 59% of 60-somethings are part of labour; this will rise to 64% in 2038 and 67% in 2068.
The agency also found that people in the labour force work (or are available for work) is projected to remain around 37 a week – ranging between 33–40 hours a week in 2038 and 31–42 hours a week in 2068.
The labour force includes people aged 15 years and over who regularly work for one or more hours a week for financial gain, work without pay in a family business, or are unemployed and actively seeking part-time or full-time work.
They do not include those aged under 15 years, students who do not work for pay, people who are unemployed and not actively seeking work, some people with childrearing responsibilities, and people who work without pay (but not in a family business), and people who have retired.
The ratio of people who are not in the labour force to those who are (economic dependency ratio) was 81 in 2017 and is projected to be 66 to 117 in 2068.
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Statistics NZ today said that the labour force is likely to grow to 3 million in 2030 and 3.5 million in 2068, driven by an increasing population and people working into older ages.