This graph and chart show how the distribution of the non-Māori workforce changed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although farming remained important throughout the period, and after 1890 contributed hugely to New Zealand’s export trade, its proportion of workers fell from the turn of the century, and the whole primary sector including mining was under a third of the workforce by the 1920s. Manufacturing had a steadily growing share, with an increasingly large proportion in factories. The tertiary sector – an even more heterogeneous group of industries – had a mixed pattern, with the shares of transport and trade (the wholesaling, retailing and hospitality services) growing, and general services (including government services) diminishing.
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Source: Statistics New Zealand