Job prospects in New Zealand are expected to grow especially for skilled workers in the construction industry, according to the November 2012 quarterly Labour Market Report from the Labour and Immigration Research Centre. The report suggests that the country’s economy continues to recover slowly from the 2008/09 recession although growth over early 2012 has been stronger than expected.
There is evidence of acceleration in post earthquake reconstruction activity in Canterbury, with strong growth in construction in the September 2012 quarter, driven by infrastructure and residential work. The Labour Ministry forecasts that employment will continue to increase gradually, growing by 1.8% in the 12 months to the end of March 2013, and by 2.1% the following year with strong employment growth in the primary processing, construction and utilities sectors.
The government expect employment growth to be strongest for highly skilled workers although opportunities for lower skilled workers are expected to account for around a third of total employment growth over 2013/15. The food processing, retail, accommodation, agriculture and construction sectors are expected to create most of these opportunities.
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- Are you now in ongoing skilled employment in New Zealand and have been so for 12 months or longer?
- Are you now in ongoing skilled employment in New Zealand but that employment has been for less than 12 months?
- Do you have an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand?”
Modest growth in employment is expected to result in the unemployment rate dropping to 6.8% by March 2013 and as employment growth strengthens in 2014, the unemployment rate is expected to fall further, to 5.5% by March 2015. The Ministry forecasts annual average employment growth in the construction sector of about 7% per annum in the next two years. This will be driven mostly by the Canterbury rebuild which is expected to gather momentum in 2013 and 2014. As a result, the decline in employment in the construction sector is forecast to reverse during this period.
In October 2012, skilled job vacancies increased in most industry groups although the largest growth was in hospitality and tourism, up by 9.9%, as well as sales, retail, marketing and advertising which were up by 5.3%. Accounting, human resources, legal, and administration were the only industry groups that had a fall over the month, down by 1.8%.
Over the year to October 2012, growth in skilled job vacancies varied across industry groups with demand for skilled workers strongest in construction and engineering, up by 39.1%, followed by health and medical up by 22.7% and hospitality and tourism up by 20.4%. In October 2012, job vacancies increased in all skilled occupation groups with demand for technicians and trades workers strongest, up by 8.6%, followed by managers up by 5.9% and professionals up by 5.5%.
Job vacancies also increased across all skilled occupation groups although technicians and trades workers had the biggest increase, up by 29.5%, followed by professionals up by 11.1% and managers up by 7.2%. Skilled job vacancies increased in most regions in October and the main centres had the strongest growth, led by Auckland, up by 5.4%. The South Island, excluding Canterbury, was the only region that showed a fall over the month, down by 1.5%. Over the year, Canterbury showed the strongest growth in skilled vacancies of any region, up by 36.5%, followed by Wellington up by 14.4% and the rest of the South Island up by 13.5%.
Advertised online vacancies in the Canterbury region have increased over the past 18 months although it is not clear how much of the increase is due to new jobs and how much is due to turnover in the region as a result of people leaving the area.