New Zealand’s employment market is picking up gradually from the global financial crisis - a trend that’s set to continue.
So, is it a good time to be looking for jobs in New Zealand? Actually, yes, if you have the right skills.
The unemployment rate had fallen to 6.2% at the start of 2013, well below the OECD overall average of 8.1%. (Our unemployment has been below the OECD average for over a decade).
The Government predicts the economy will add around 130,000 jobs (nearly 6% growth) between 2013 and 2016. This will be driven mainly by above-average employment growth for Auckland industries and strong labour demand for the Christchurch rebuild.
During the same time, unemployment is expected to trend slowly down to below 5% by March 2016. 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.
There are job opportunities across the board. But some specific skills are urgently needed. High priority skills are posted in the Skill Shortage Lists. If you have those skills you could find it a lot easier getting a work or resident visa.
We also have a Canterbury Skill Shortage List. Rebuilding after the earthquakes in Christchurch and the surrounding area of Canterbury has also created an urgent need for particular skills. If your skill is on that list you may qualify for a temporary visa or, if it’s also one of the Long Term Skill Shortages, a visa that can lead to residence.
As at mid 2013, 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|
To check the updated lists, visit the skill shortage lists.
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.
See our section on visas to work in New Zealand.