Auck­land NZ’s ‘growth en­gine’

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - HAMISH RUTHER­FORD

‘‘The ex­pand­ing pop­u­la­tion will pro­vide a solid ba­sis for con­tin­ued [eco­nomic] growth in the re­gion’’

Auck­land will con­tinue to be the en­gine of New Zealand’s job growth, Christchurch will lag and Welling­ton will get more of the same, a new re­port pre­dicts.

The lat­est re­gional per­spec­tives re­port from eco­nomics agency In­fo­met­rics fore­casts Auck­land, which has seen the strong­est em­ploy­ment growth of any re­gion since 2011, will con­tinue to lead New Zealand un­til at least 2021.

While not­ing that Auck­land’s growth per per­son has ‘‘not been that spec­tac­u­lar’’ in re­cent years, In­fo­met­rics says New Zealand’s largest city is ex­pected to add 83,550 jobs over the next four years.

That would rep­re­sent both the largest num­ber of jobs, and the largest per­cent­age gain, an an­nual in­crease of 2.4 per cent. Na­tion­wide, the the num­ber of jobs is ex­pected to grow by 1.7 per cent a year un­til 2021.

‘‘With New Zealand’s labour mar­ket ex­pected to re­main rel­a­tively tight through­out the next four years, we an­tic­i­pate that net mi­gra­tion will hold at above-av­er­age lev­els, sus­tain­ing strong pop­u­la­tion growth in Auck­land,’’ the re­port pre­dicts.

‘‘The ex­pand­ing pop­u­la­tion will pro­vide a solid ba­sis for con­tin­ued [eco­nomic] growth in the re­gion, which will be mag­ni­fied by the con­tin­ued ex­pan­sion of key ser­vice in­dus­tries that are im­por­tant to the Auck­land econ­omy.’’

While In­fo­met­rics says all re­gions in New Zealand will grow job num­bers in the com­ing years, it points to a marked slow­down in Christchurch, with res­i­den­tial, non-res­i­den­tial and in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion all in de­cline.

In­fo­met­rics ex­pects em­ploy­ment growth of 1.1 per cent in the gar­den city over the next two years, half the na­tional av­er­age ‘‘and well be­low the city’s 4.7 per an­num av­er­age growth between March 2012 and March 2015’’, In­fo­met­rics chief fore­caster Gareth Kier­nan said. New Zealand’s cap­i­tal, mean­while, ap­pears set to achieve con­sis­tent mod­er­ate growth, be­low the na­tional av­er­age, just like the pe­riod since 2011.

De­spite high­light­ing strong growth in the health­care sec­tor and some growth in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, In­fo­met­rics says em­ploy­ment growth in Welling­ton is ex­pected to be 1.9 per cent in the next two years, be­fore fall­ing to 0.6 per cent in 2019-2021.

Na­tion­ally, the re­port says New Zealand is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing strong growth, with a buoy­ant con­struc­tion sec­tor and tourism sec­tors.

SI­MON MAUDE/FAIR­FAX NZ

Auck­land is ex­pected to add more jobs than any other part of the coun­try over the next four years, a new re­port claims.

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