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Data sources

LEED integrates existing longitudinal employer and employee data. The dataset is constructed from monthly administrative data for individuals drawn from Inland Revenue’s taxation system and business data from Statistics NZ's BF.

Inland Revenue's dataset is collected for the purpose of administering New Zealand’s taxation system. It consists of data from EMS and contains details of earnings, tax type and tax deducted. It does not contain any information relating to the number of hours worked for those earnings.

The monthly EMS schedule identifies the:

  • name and IRD number of the employer
  • name and IRD number of the employees
  • the final day of the month covered by the return.

For each employee the EMS provides:

  • taxable and non-taxable earnings (including lump sums)
  • tax deductions including PAYE or withholding tax
  • job start and end dates.

Inland Revenue also supplies amendments to core reference tables containing:

  • IRD number
  • name of the taxpayer (individual or other)
  • address of the taxpayer
  • date of birth
  • sex is not provided but inferred from the salutation field.

The BF is a regularly maintained list of all economically significant businesses and organisations (greater than $30,000 turnover) engaged in the production of goods and services in New Zealand. Its main use is to select businesses for participation in Statistics NZ’s surveys. Information derived from the BF includes:

  • industry
  • sector (private or public)
  • the number of geographical units (physical locations)
  • the count of employees at each geographical unit
  • the ownership structure of the business.

Historically, the BF was based on and updated from annual survey questionnaires. Since 2002, the coverage of the BF has been extended to include more businesses, and its employment information has been maintained using monthly tax data.

While the BF represents a rich source of information on businesses and their structures, a number of practical limitations remain which impact on its use in the LEED system. Examples include:

  • possible time delays in adding new businesses to the BF and recording businesses that have ceased trading
  • the BF practice of transferring geographical units between businesses at the time of legal changes in ownership rather than at the time the initial administrative unit ceases to file an EMS.

It is important to note that Statistics NZ surveys are specifically designed to collect the data required and the information requested is targeted to the desired measures. In comparison, the LEED measures are limited by the characteristics of the base data.

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