The New Zealand Income Survey Will Be Integrated Into The Household Labour Force Survey

If there’s something New Zealand government departments are good at, it’s telling you what they’re going to do far in advance. The New Zealand Income Survey – where you’d find median earnings if you were looking – will be folded into the Household Labour Force Survey from 2015 onwards.

The report is interesting, if you take an interest in what NZ individuals and households actually earn. The one thing that is going is reporting investment income – median of just $13 a week according to the latest report. Apparently 40% of respondents report that their only investment income is the interest from a bank account. Tragic.

The adjustment to “usual hours” instead of actual hours reflects that a non-trivial proportion of the New Zealand workforce does not have “regular” 9-5 employment. Casualisation is happening and there is an increasing divide in hours worked.

I only use the New Zealand Income Survey when doing things like comparing what households earn against what tertiary graduates earn according to the Ministry of Education’s very good “Moving on up: What tertiary graduates earn after their tertiary education“. Comparing these against industry salary surveys gives you a good overview of where you *actually* stand as opposed to what your feelings tell you. Data is good.