Reading time
3 mins
November 22, 2019
Te Ōhanga Māori

The future Māori workforce - Part four

In stage two of our collaboration, we focused on how the Māori labour force is changing, and looked at changes in industry composition, income gaps, and qualification attainment

Building on the work completed in stage one, we explored the data deeper in order to better understand the situation of the current Māori workforce today, especially in high risk sectors.

High level findings from this stage include:

  • Over the 12 years from 2006 to 2018, some industries have grown substantially, while some have remained constant or decreased 
    • One of the rapidly growing industries was the professional, scientific, and technical services industry, with growth being particularly strong since 2015.  In just three years, an additional 20,000 full time equivalents (FTEs) of employment entered the industry. However, only six percent of this workforce in 2018 was Māori
    • Social services employment increased the most during this period
    • One of the sectors where Māori were overrepresented in the workforce was the manufacturing sector.  This is also one of the industries most likely to be affected by increasing automation, and steadily decreasing  employment
    • Eleven percent of the working population are Māori, although 34 percent of forestry and logging workers were Māori and only four percent were computer systems designers
    • Overall, Māori are overrepresented in the primary, manufacturing and construction industries, and substantially underrepresented in professional, scientific, and technical services.
  • Due to the gradual transition of Māori into higher skilled jobs and industries, there was no significant change to the income gap between Māori and non-Māori between 2013 and 2018 
    • In 2018, Māori men aged 40 to 60 years old earned 25 percent less than average for their age
    • Māori women of the same age earned 15 percent less than the average
    • Also, Māori over 65 years old are more likely to continue working.
  • We noticed similar patterns to international data in terms of gaining additional qualifications. Tracking additional qualifications gained since Census 2013, Māori working in high-skilled jobs were much more likely to gain additional qualifications
    • Of the top eight occupations for qualification growth, only two were low-skilled occupations 
    • Store persons, machine operators, and drivers, all jobs that may be at risk in the coming years, have very low rates of increasing qualifications
    • High-skilled jobs are more likely to support continuous improvement and upskilling, while also offering career progression for gaining additional qualifications.

Find out more

This article is part four of a series on our research into the future of the Māori workforce. Find more about this project at:

Part one: Preparing our future Māori workforce

Part two: Writing the future work narrative

Part three: Exploring the forces that shaped the Māori workforce