Economic » Prosperous Community

All members of our community prosper from a strong and growing economy. A thriving business sector attracts and retains a skilled and productive workforce.

What is Prosperous Community?

A prosperous community is one in which there is a job market in which employment is growing, unemployment is low, incomes are relatively high and evenly distributed and people are well-educated. Having a decent income is a crucial element contributing to quality of life because most basic needs such as food, water, shelter, health care and many forms of recreation have to be purchased. The valuable services resulting from unpaid household and community work also contribute directly to our well-being and prosperity.

The prosperous community outcome is made up of eight indicators that were selected to measure progress towards the outcome definition (shown above). Please see below for the data relating to each of the prosperous community indicators.

City Circular

Prosperous community GPI, 2001-2018

What this means

The prosperous community index of the WR-GPI rose steadily between 2003 and 2008. However, the economic impacts associated with the fall-out from the global financial crisis (GFC) created a sharp reversal of the positive trend at 2008, and the index was negatively affected for the following four years with signs of recovery evident in 2013. A net change for this index between 2001 and 2017 of 13%. 

Did you know?

Natural disasters (and the cost of cleaning up after them) actually create an increase in GDP, thus counting natural disasters as a benefit to our economy. From a GPI perspective, natural disasters would be a decline in our well-being

8 Indicators are being used to track Prosperous Community in the Wellington region

Click on each indicator below to access further information

Download Territorial Authority data for these Indicators

Labour force participation

Why is this indicator important?

The size of the labour force is critical to New Zealand’s capacity to produce goods and services.  Short-term changes in the participation rate can often be traced to job market conditions. A job market in which employment is growing often encourages more people to participate.

Labour force participation, 2001-2018


  • The Wellington region labour force participation rate was 73.8% in 2018.
  • In the years following 2009, annual change pivots around 2%, which is notably different to the first six years in the time series where annual change ranges between 0.3% and 0.9%.
  • Particular years have exhibited fluctuations, with the most influential changes occurring around the time of the global financial crisis (GFC). The rate increased in 2007 by 2.3% (equivalent to approx 13,400 more people), then reduced by 1.4% in 2008 (approx 12,600 less people; the greatest annual reduction in the time series). The rate increased again in 2015 to 2018, the latter rate is 73.8  the same rate as the previous year.
  • The Wellington region labour force participation rate was consistently higher than the national average rate between 2001 and 2018.  In 2018, the Wellington region labour force participation rate was 3.5 percentage points higher than the participation rate for New Zealand overall.

Labour force participation

Definition and data details

Indicator definition

The total labour force (people who are either employed-working at least one hour per week; or unemployed-not in work but available for work and actively seeking work) expressed as a percentage of the working age population (15 years and over)

Data Source

Statistics New Zealand: Household Labour Force Survey

Last updated April 2019

Indicators are updated in April each year; for those indicators where new data or survey results have become available.

While care has been taken in processing, analysing and extracting information, we cannot guarantee that the information is free from error and we shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of any information, product or service.