Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), defined in New Zealand as enterprises with 19 or fewer employees, are an important part of the New Zealand’s economy, both in terms of their number and the proportion of the labour force they employ.
- 97.2% of enterprises employ 19 or fewer
- 89.7% of enterprises employ 5 or fewer
- 68.9% of enterprises have no paid employees
- 31% (580,680) of all employees work in SMEs
- 39.8% of the economy’s total output (on a real value added basis) comes from SMEs
Source: ‘SMEs in NZ - Structure and Dynamics 2011”
The Small Business Advisory Group (SBAG), ten owners of small businesses that provide a small business ’voice’ in policy development, recently published their latest report which identifies key issues for SMEs in New Zealand from their perspective. SBAG called for more clarity, certainty, continuity and capability building to allow small and medium sized enterprises to operate with confidence. www.med.govt.nz/sbag2012
New Zealand Economic Development Indicators
The Economic Development Indicators reports track New Zealand’s medium-term economic performance over time and compared with other OECD countries. These include high-level outcomes, such as economic growth, and also the underlying factors, such as innovation and investment that drive growth.
The 2011 report shows that while New Zealand is above the OECD median on quality of life indicators it is below the OECD mean on purely economic measures: what New Zealand earns – net national income (NNI) per capita; what it earns before depreciation – gross national income (GNI) per capita; and what New Zealand produces – gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.
New Zealand has a relatively high labour utilisation rate compared with its OECD counterparts, but relatively low labour productivity. Given the limits to increasing labour utilisation further, future improvements in material standards must come primarily from labour productivity growth. The level of labour productivity for the whole economy is below the level of countries in the upper half of the OECD, and is not catching up with them.
New Zealand’s labour productivity reflects its levels of capital per worker and multi-factor productivity (MFP). MFP captures a range of factors that can raise output over and above any increase in inputs of capital and hours worked. New Zealand’s capital-labour ratio is low by OECD standards and New Zealand workers do not appear to have had as much physical capital to work with as workers in Australia. Estimated MFP growth has been low relative to the OECD over the last 10 years.
Ministry of Economic Development
Phone 04 470 2281
Parl 04 817 6876
PO Box 1473