Is it a good time to be looking for jobs in New Zealand? Definitely - especially if you have the right skills.
New Zealand’s employment market has been gathering steam steadily since the global financial crisis - a trend that’s set to continue.
There are many job openings for specialists in industries such as medicine, engineering and IT. But there are also opportunities to contribute more generalist skills.
Skills in demand
Some skills are in chronically short supply, and Immigration New Zealand has lists of skill shortages.
If you are offered a job in New Zealand which appears on a skill shortage list and you have the qualifications and experience to match, getting a work and residence visa will be easier. This is because the Government has identified that employers need to recruit people from overseas to help meet demand for your skills.
Currently, the lists cover skills in these areas:
|Long term shortages||Immediate shortages||Canterbury shortages|
|Agriculture and forestry|
|Health and social services|
|ICT and electronics|
|Oil and gas|
|Recreation, hospitality & tourism|
A full list of current skill shortages in New Zealand can be found by using our handy tool:
Other skills and avenues
If your skills aren’t on the shortage lists or you’d really like to go for residency, it may still be possible to get a visa.
For instance, you may be able to apply for residency as a Skilled Migrant. You may also be able to apply for a work visa if you’re offered a job by an employer who can’t find a local worker for the vacancy.
Job market overview
Job vacancies on the two main internet boards rose a solid 15.4% through 2013, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Vacancies are now at levels not seen since mid 2008 and employers are reporting difficulties finding skilled labour.
Business confidence is at a 20-year high (NZIER), while unemployment was down to 6.2% by September 2013, well below the OECD overall average then of 7.9%. (Our unemployment has been below the OECD average for over a decade.)
The economy will add over 100,000 jobs (4.4% growth) in the two years to 2016, according to the Government.
Particularly strong jobs growth is expected in the Auckland and Canterbury regions and in the construction and utilities industries
Highly skilled jobs (managers and professionals across a number of areas) will be in consistently high demand, accounting for about 50% of overall employment growth.
For the latest overview, visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Market Update.
Short term employment prospects | MBIE (PDF 694KB)