Workforce Strategy planning - useful statistics and economic trends
The purpose of this document is to provide Public Service and State sector agencies with easy access, in one place, to a range of information sources that they may usefully consider when developing or reviewing their workforce strategies and/or implementing those strategies through workforce policies or bargaining.
In putting this information together, we have aimed to provide access to a reasonably comprehensive range of information. We do not suggest that we have provided access to all information relevant to an agencies’ workforce strategy. Nor do we endorse the accuracy of any particular information or commentary associated with it.
If you have links to anything else you think should be included in this list please contact the Workforce Strategy Team firstname.lastname@example.org.
The state of the economy – present and future
What is the state of the economy generally?
Treasury produces an annual overview of the structure, performance and history of the New Zealand economy. It contains a wide range of information and is a good starting point for understanding the economic context within which to do workforce planning.
Treasury’s briefing to the incoming Minister provides an overview of the medium term economic outlook. It is up to date immediately following a general election, but may be dated in some respects over the following three years
Where is the economy headed?
Treasury’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook provides an up to date set of basic statistics on where the economy is headed.
What is the state of the government’s finances, and what is coming up?
Treasury’s Statements on New Zealand’s long term fiscal position gives a good overview on the government’s present and future finances. These are required to look out at least 40 years, and are published at least every four years.
What is happening with the cost of living?
The consumer price index (CPI) provides information about the rate of inflation. This is measured by comparing the price of a standard ‘basket of goods and services’ over time. The basket of goods and services is designed to be representative of what and how much the average household purchases.
You can use the Reserve Bank’s inflation calculator to calculate inflation for any period of time you want
What are the general population characteristics and trends?
Population (census, births, deaths, population estimates, etc)
People and communities (age, ethnicity, gender, region, etc)
Who lives where, and what are the trends?
Estimated populations in different geographic regions
Population trends in different geographic regions
What about migration and immigration?
Migration and immigration statistics
Labour market and EEO information
What is happening with employment and unemployment
Data on employment and unemployment, supply and demand and future trends
What is happening with incomes and labour costs?
There are a range of official measures on Wages and Income. Statistics New Zealand has published guidance on using wage and salary measures:
The user guide also contains a helpful flowchart, which shows the most appropriate measure to use to answer a specific question:
Labour Cost Index
The LCI measures how much have wages and salaries increased overtime. The Labour Cost Index (LCI) is used to calculate percentage increases in wages for a fixed quantity and quality of labour. The figure that Statistics New Zealand recommends as an indicator of wage increases is the adjusted percentage change in ‘all salary and wage rates’ (including overtime). The LCI also provides sector breakdown of wage movements (public or private).
Labour Cost Index (all labour costs)
Statistics New Zealand also produces an annual Labour Cost Index, which includes all labour costs. This is released for the June quarter. The annual index combines the salary and wage costs measured in the quarterly releases with the addition of non-wage labour costs such as medical insurance, superannuation, annual leave, and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) employer premiums.
Quarterly Employment survey
If you are looking for average hourly earnings, average number of hours worked in a week, or average weekly earnings from wages or salaries, the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) is the best source. Data is also provided broken down by sector (public or private), industry, and sex.
The New Zealand Income Survey (NZIS) is a supplement to the June quarter Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) and provides a snapshot of income levels for people and households. The NZIS gives median and average weekly income for the June quarter from most sources including government transfers, investments, self-employment and wages and salaries. For those receiving income from wages and salaries, statistics on average and median hourly earnings are also available.
What about work stoppages?
What is happening about equal employment opportunities?
Diversity toolkits are available on
State sector information
What information is available on agency funding and guidance
Treasury publishes a range of materials offering guidance to State sector agencies.
The funding history for specific agencies/sectors can be viewed at
Where can we find Public Service workforce statistics?
The State Services Commission conducts a Human Resource Capability Survey and produces data on the State sector workforce.
A report on remuneration for senior staff
What is happening in other countries?
Other countries have adopted a range of strategies to address economic conditions
Where can I view a lot of the basic data in one place?
There are some very useful websites where you can view a range of information in one place.
Here are some graphs and information showing some economic basics e.g. inflation, employment/unemployment www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/
Here is access to a range of economic indicators
Here is a snap shot across a range of economic and workforce information
Here is a range of price indexes
Here is a whole range of labour market and related information
Here is a range of economic, demographic and other information
Other information sources worth considering
It may be worthwhile knowing private sector business views and union aspirations on workforce issues.
Union: NZCTU www.union.org.nz/ and PSA www.psa.org.nz/Home.aspx
Government policies on workforce, employment relations and bargaining
The Government has a range of policies relating to workforce. These include the Government’s Expectations re pay and employment conditions and redeployment. You can access these policies via the State Services Commission Employment Relations page www.ssc.govt.nz/er