Utilisation of underutilised persons in construction

More underutilised men are pursuing employment in the construction industry. In 2006 5% of underutilised men went on to be employed in construction, rising over the next eight years to 7% in 2014. There is a dip in 2015 but we will need to wait till next year to see if this is an outlier or trend.

While construction seems to be doing well in attracting underutilzied men into their sector they are missing out on recruiting women. Despite there being more underutilised women only 1% of them pursue employment in construction.

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We link individuals who report being underutilised in the Household Labour Force Survey through to their tax records and determine how many go on to find employment in the construction industry within the next three years.

Underutilization is a measurement of labour force efficiency. It combines those working but seeking more hours of work (underemployment), those seeking work (unemployment), as well as those who aren't seeking working but would either take a job if offered or will start seeking work soon (potential labour force).

The HLFS does not capture those those who are employed under their skill level, e.g. someone working in a fast food chain with a masters degree in engineering.


Access to the anonymised data used in this study was provided by Statistics New Zealand in accordance with security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975, and secrecy provisions of the Tax Administration Act 1994. The findings are not Official Statistics. The results in this paper are the work of the authors, not Statistics NZ, and have been confidentialised to protect individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations from identification. Read our full disclaimer here.


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