Employment in New Zealand

New Zealand is a small open economy, with large international labour flows and skilled immigrants. Employment growth has continued since 2000, with strong migration-related population growth. Overall employment rates have stayed fairly steady, they have actually increased considerably for older workers. However there has been a sharp decline in employment rates for younger works as well as Maori and Pasifika ethnic groups. Wage gains have been modest and there has been a compression of earnings differentials by gender as well as by skill.
New Zealand’s job market has been robust for the last couple of years. The government expects that the workforce will grow at 1.8% annually. This means that New Zealand will need around 47,000 more workers a year in the future. It is predicted that the majority of these jobs will be in highly skilled occupations and will need to be filled by people coming into New Zealand from overseas.
Although New Zealand always welcomes in people will skills, some skills are more sought after than others. These are called ‘Essential Skills in Demand’ (ESID).
If you are capable of any of the skills on this list then the Government accepts that there aren’t enough New Zealand residents that are qualified, so will make getting a visa easier for you.
Sectors currently on the list are:

  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Finance/business
  • Health and social services
  • ICT and electronics
  • Recreation, hospitality and tourism
  • Science
  • Trades
  • Transport

The kinds of highly skilled occupations that are expected to grow the fastest include business and system analysts and programmers; ICT managers; architects, planners and surveyors; advertising, public relations, sales managers; and legal professionals.
However, ‘skilled’ workers will also be in demand, particularly glaziers, plasterers and tilers; electricians; plumbers; animal attendants, trainers and shearers; and fabrication engineering trade workers.

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