View from the Ground
New Zealand’s unshakable skill shortage underpins many of the challenges facing organisations today. The economy is at near full employment, yet employers tell us they intend to add to their headcount. Naturally then, demand exceeds supply for highly skilled professionals and in high-skill industries. In fact, the gap between the skills employers need and those available has reached its highest level in the history of this Index. Add several years of wage stagnation, and it’s understandable that top talent now prioritises a pay rise. However, employers are not succumbing to this pressure, instead keeping salary increases firmly in check. As a result, turnover is rising as employees recognise that their skills attract a higher salary when changing jobs.
Adam Shapley, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand
Key Skills in Demand
- Software Development
- Civil Engineers
- Construction Managers
- Building Tradespeople
New Zealand’s economy grew by 2.7% in 2018, slightly below its average growth of 3.2% in the previous five years. Growth in the manufacturing sector – New Zealand’s third-largest – slowed from 2.7% in 2017 to 1.4% in 2018.
Positive net inward migration boosted New Zealand’s labour force in 2018, increasing the economy’s productive potential. New Zealand had 145,800 permanent and long-term migrant arrivals in 2018 and 97,500 departures. The annual net inward permanent migration figure of 48,300 was lower than the 2017 figure of 52,700. Going forward, the tighter visa requirements that were introduced in late 2017 will impact future migration levels and could impact business’ access to skilled labour.