Tracking self-employment of new entrants

While career changers start in their new sector with the highest rates of self-employment returning kiwis have the highest rates of progression into self-employment.


Self-employment is tracked of workers retain in the sector. Note that progression rates into self-employment may not be truly representative as self-employed workers have higher retention rates and the increases may be due to wage and salary workers leaving the sector rather than an increase in self-employed workers.

New entrants are defined as persons who first work at least three months above a minimum wage threshold of 120 hours (30 hours across 4 weeks). Of these new entrants we define their primary activity in the year leading up to starting work order of:

  1. Secondary school enrollments
  2. Tertiary enrollments
  3. Work in other sectors (career changers)
  4. Visa status (immigrants)
  5. Overseas spells (returning kiwis)
  6. Beneficiaries
  7. Other

Such that a person with a tertiary enrollment and who is working in another sector in the year leading up to starting work in carpentry will be recorded once only as a tertiary student.


Access to the data used in this study was provided by Stats NZ under conditions designed to give effect to the security and confidentiality provisions of the Data and Statistics Act 2022. The results presented in this study are the work of the author, not Stats NZ or individual data suppliers.

These results are not official statistics. They have been created for research purposes from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) which is carefully managed by Stats NZ. For more information about the IDI please visit

The results are based in part on tax data supplied by Inland Revenue to Stats NZ under the Tax Administration Act 1994 for statistical purposes. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the IDI for statistical purposes, and is not related to the data's ability to support Inland Revenue's core operational requirements.


Outcomes of new entrants in food and fibre sectors

Compare how outcomes compare between different talent sources of new entrants

Self-employment Source of new entrants New entrants