Changes in women’s earnings (2013)

This report, prepared by NZIER, describes the drivers of changes in the economic returns to women’s skills over the past 30 years and considers how these drivers may affect returns to women’s skills over the next 10 to 15 years.

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs undertook research in 2011 and 2012 to identify the economic returns from women’s skills both now and into the future. This research compared a subset of indicators of labour market participation and income data over the past 30 years by ethnicity and gender. This has resulted in a significant body of detailed work.

The research concludes that women in New Zealand are more able and more likely to be economically independent today than ever before. However, it also concludes that there is still much that can be done to improve outcomes for New Zealand women, and particularly for groups of women who have poorer outcomes than others.

The report summarises and presents the key insights from this work. It also provides some observations on patterns of changes in the labour market, and discusses possible policy options for future work in this area.

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