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New Zealand

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Overall score

Score by Indicator

in 2016 5.2
0 2.5 5 7.5 10

Key drivers

Labour market participation

New Zealand’s participation rate has grown rapidly, reaching a record high of 70.5 per cent in the December 2016 quarter, according to the IMF. Strong working age population growth contributed to the growing labour supply.

Talent mismatch

New Zealand saw an improvement in its talent mismatch indicator, due to the number of people who have been out of work for a year or longer falling.

Wage pressure in high-skill industries

The average age differential between workers in high-skill industries and lower-skill increased over the year.


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Ground View

Jason Walker, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand

Employers are capitalising on New Zealand’s improved economy and flow of government and private projects by increasing permanent, temporary and contract headcounts. According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, employment will grow by 2 per cent over the next three years to March 2020; the majority of growth will be for highly-skilled occupations. So while net migration and returning Kiwis are giving employers a larger pool of workers to choose from, the creation of new jobs is absorbing them, leading to high demand for skilled talent, particularly in high-skilled industries. Adding to the skill shortage is a talent mismatch, upskilling and talent management should be on the agenda of organisations large and small once more.

Jason Walker, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand

Country Profile

While New Zealand’s economic growth is expected to moderate slightly in 2017 compared to 2016, employment is forecast to grow by 3.2 per cent, which is higher than the average for the last five years.

New Zealand’s economy has benefitted from record high levels of net migration and labour force participation. A relatively high share (80 per cent) of New Zealand’s immigrants are working age adults. These factors, contributing to a growing labour supply, have helped ease labour market pressures in the country.

Key skills in demand

  • Structural, civil and building services design engineers
  • Professional practice auditors
  • Quantity surveyors
  • Software and digital technology specialists
  • Project managers (construction and infrastructure)

News and Press Materials

Jason Walker, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand