New Census figures show 29,472 fewer people are working in the manufacturing industry than in 2006.
Manufacturing has slipped from being the largest industry in terms of employment to the third largest, falling behind health care and retail.
The number of people working in the sector fell 13.5% between 2006 - 2013.
The health care and social assistance sector has seen the biggest increase, growing by nearly 20% and employing one in 10 people.
The 2013 Census also shows home ownership rates are declining and more people living in New Zealand were born overseas.