14 March 2022
[FYI request #18592 email]
Tēnā koe James,
Official Information Act request: COVID-19 pandemic related job loss
Thank you for your request dated 7 March 2022, transferred to Stats NZ from the Ministry of
Business, Innovation and Employment, requesting the following:
“1. Number of job terminations due to redundancy attributable to the Covid-19
pandemic (eg. During Lockdowns).
2. Number of job losses related to vaccination orders where employees have refused
to be vaccinated.”
Stats NZ hold data relevant to this request, collected from the Household Labour Force
Survey (HLFS). The HLFS does not collect data on job loss specifically due to COVID-19
related redundancy, or refusal to be vaccinated. However, ‘COVID-19 related reasons’ is a
response option for several questions in the HLFS, including why a person doesn’t want,
hasn’t looked for, or has left a job. Another possible response option for these questions is
being made redundant or laid off. Some people who have lost their job due to vaccine
mandates may be included in this category.
In the December 2021 quarter, 23,000 jobless people (± 4,200) who had left their last job in
the last five years said they did so for COVID-19 related reasons. This could include vaccine
mandates at their workplace, amongst other causes, such as reduced business due to the
pandemic, or concern for their own safety.
In the December 2021 quarter, 40,900 people (± 5,400) who had left their last job in the last
5 years said that they were either made redundant, laid off, or the business they worked at
This data has been released each quarter since the June 2020 quarter as part of Stats NZ’s labour market statistics
releases, in the ‘Household labour force survey supplementary
tables’. Measures with ‘COVID-19 related reasons’ available as an answer include
breakdowns by sex, ethnic group, and age group.
If you are not satisfied with this response, you have the right to seek an investigation and
review by the Ombudsman. Information about how to make a complaint is available at
www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or 0800 802 602.
It is our policy to proactively release our responses to official information requests where
possible. This letter, with your personal details removed, will be published on the Stats NZ
website. Publishing responses creates greater openness and transparency of government
decision-making, and helps better inform public understanding of the reasons for decisions.
Ngā mihi nui
Kate Satterthwaite Senior Manager, Executive and Government Relations
Office of the Chief Executive