Where Have They Gone? Changes In Occupations Using 1991-2013 New Zealand Census Data

Andrew Hancock


Over the period 1991 to 2013 they way in which occupations have been reported and classified in the New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings has changed. To look at the high level trends, an analysis of the top thirty occupations that have the highest counts in census data in that time period based on the New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (NZSCO) has been undertaken. The purpose of this analysis is to have a time-series barometer to see whether respondents change the way in which they respond, and to determine if occupation reporting is reflecting changes in the real world of the New Zealand labour market. A comparison is made using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) to identify if classification changes have an impact. Have some of the old occupations really disappeared or are they being reported differently? Has the way the occupations are classified, and the changes in the classifications caused some interesting trends. What impact has been experienced with the introduction of a trans-Tasman classification? Are there new and emerging occupations in this top group and are there any labour market sectors that are not appropriately represented? The paper discusses the role of an occupational classification in relation to the processing of the responses given to the five yearly population census question on occupation, and questions whether the statistical need for processing survey responses has affected the viability of the classification for labour market analysis.


Occuption changes; New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings

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