Employment plays an important role in well-being. For most
people, income from paid work is the main factor determining their
material standard of living. Income saved during their
working life contributes to the standard of living of many retired
There is a strong and well established link between unemployment
and health. Unemployment causes poor health and poor health
increases the probability of unemployment. 2003 research project
found that exposure to unemployment was associated with
significantly increased risks of mental health problems, suicidal
tendencies and crime.
Unemployment rates in Christchurch have fluctuated over the last
twenty years, from a high of 10.2 per cent in 1991 to a low of 2.8
per cent in 2006. This is in line with national and regional
trends. In the June 2010 quarter, overall unemployment in
Christchurch was 6.8%, but there were substantial differences
between ethnic groups. Europeans had the lowest unemployment
rate at 4.4%, while Māori and Pacific people had rates more than
three times higher at 16.4% and 14.1% respectively. Asian and
Middle Eastern/Latin American/African unemployment rates were also
higher than that for Europeans, at 10.5% and 9.0% respectively.
Youth unemployment is also high: nationally, one quarter of
15-19-year-olds were unemployed in 2009. Those with no
qualifications are most likely to be unemployed.
full issue summary on employment [PDF] - updated May