Self-employment among women in New Zealand rises

The country’s statistics department Stats NZ said the number of self-employed women increased 13.9% year-on-year to 143,500 in March.
By: | July 19, 2021

People defined as “self-employed without employees” include those who are starting their own businesses, sole traders, independent contractors, freelancers, or gig workers, but excludes people who employ others, according to labour market statistics manager Andrew Neal. 

The number of women who were self-employed with no employees rose by 17,500 year-on-year, up 13.9%, the latest data from the March 2021 quarter Household Labor Force Survey showed. 

In comparison, the number of self-employed men reached 211,600 in the same period, up 3.5%. 

“After the challenges that COVID-19 presented this past year, employment opportunities for women are continuing to bounce back, and we’re seeing this in an increasing shift into self-employment,” Neal said. 

In the first quarter of 2021, when asked about how they felt about their work, 91% of all self-employed women said they would prefer to continue working as they were. Only 6.4% of self-employed women said they would prefer to work for someone else, according to Stats NZ. 

READ: Over 50% of gig workers in New Zealand earn below minimum wage

By sector, most self-employed people worked in the professional, scientific, technical, administrative, support services and construction industries in the first quarter of 2021. 

Stats NZ’s data showed that other sectors with a high proportion of self-employed people were agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining industries, as well as arts and recreation, according to Xinhua.