Employment continues to grow in the city


  • In 2019 there were 218,000 employees in the City, making up 10% of New Zealand's employment.
  • The number of employees in Christchurch has increased by around 37% since 2000, to reach 218,000 in 2019. There was a decrease in the number between 2008 and 2012, largely due to the Global Financial Crisis and the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.
  • Around 10% of the country's employees work in Christchurch, with minor fluctuations since 2000.
  • The Health Care and Social Assistance industry is the city's largest employer, with around 13% employment.
  • Manufacturing and Retail are the next largest industries in terms of the city's employment, each comprising around 10% of employment.




Unemployment rate

  • The city's unemployment rate was 3.8% in June 2019. This was slightly lower than the national rate.
  • The unemployment rate in Christchurch has trended upwards since 2014, from 2.8% in June 2014 to 3.8% in June 2019. There was a sharp decrease in the City's unemployment rate between June 2012 and June 2014, when the rate more than halved.
  • Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate has generally been trending downwards since June 2010, from 6.4% to 3.9% in June 2019.



NEET rate

  • Christchurch's NEET rate (not in employment, education or training) has been increasing overall since 2015, and was 11.2% in June 2019.
  • Between 2009 and 2013, the NEET rate was at its highest, averaging around 12.5% and peaked at 14%.
  • It declined to around 8% between 2013 and 2016, and has since fluctuated to around 11% in June 2019.
  • The NEET rate for 20 to 24 year olds is on average one and a half times that of people between 15 and 19 year of age.
  • Christchurch's NEET rate for people aged 15-24 years has generally been around 80% of the national NEET rate.

Explore more data

Interactive data and further links are available on Statistics New Zealand's website:

1. View and download customisable business demography tables from Statistics New Zealand's NZ.Stat tool(external link)(external link):

  • Available for detailed industrial classifications.
  • Can be selected for a range of geographies (including regions and territorial authorities).

2. View Statistics New Zealand's Employment and unemployment(external link) page for further information and links.

Information about this data

The rate of unemployment is the number of people in the labour force (individuals of working age) who are unemployed but able to actively seek work.

Statistics New Zealand produces the unemployment rate, which is collected through its quarterly Household Labour Force Survey(external link).

Further information about the data collection can be found on the Stats NZ website(external link).


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