Australia and New Zealand Labour Markets: Some Similarities and Differences


  • James Newell Monitoring and Evaluation Research Associated Ltd
  • Paul Callister Victoria University of Wellington



There is much media attention given to New Zealand workers migrating to Australia. Less attention has been given to directly comparing the two labour markets. We use Australian and New Zealand census and labour force survey data to build a 2006/2008 centred comparison of labour market attributes and recent trends in both countries. Key areas considered include: how did the restructuring of the New Zealand economy in the 1980s/early 1990s affect the relative rates of prime-aged male employment in New Zealand as compared to Australia; has there been the same growth in employment of women on both sides of the Tasman: how does the liming of retirement by Australians compare with that of New Zealand residents; how similar are our overall occupational patterns; are young New Zealand born tradespeople proportionately more concentrated in the Australian workforce than in New Zealand; is the occupational structure of Auslralia resident Maori similar to that of other Australian resident; and how does the balance of extended metropolitan and other labour market catchment types compare? A 2006 Australasian comparative labour market geography developed using the Coombes algorithm as implemented by Newel/ and Papps 2001 is introduced as a common framework for the comparative study of Australia and New Zealand subnational labour markets.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Paul Callister, Victoria University of Wellington

Institute of Policy Studies