16 August 2007

Skill shortages and New Zealand immigration

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Skill shortages have risen sharply in the last six months, according to the latest information from the Department of Labour. The continuing lack of skilled workers highlights the opportunities for people interested in New Zealand immigration.

The survey report, prepared in conjunction with the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, states that "the demand for labour has been high and the supply of labour has been constrained leading to firms finding skilled labour increasingly difficult to find".

Over 40 per cent of firms had difficulty finding skilled staff in the March 2007 quarter, up from 29 per cent in the December 2006 quarter. New Zealand employers also reported that the shortage of labour was the main constraint on their expansion in 22 per cent of cases. This figure is the highest result since June 2005.

Labour market conditions are expected to remain tight in the coming year, with low unemployment and underemployment leading to available labour being in short supply. Wage growth is also likely to stay high in the year ahead.

The Department of Immigration issues an Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL), which covers many skills the department considers to be in demand from accountants to yacht riggers.

The report provides an outlook for the labour market over the two years to March 2009. "The continuing strong performance of the economy will lead to further pressures on some aspects of the labour market including wages, skills and the supply of labour," the report states.

New Zealand needs skilled workers: anyone interested in New Zealand immigration should complete the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment to see if they qualify for a New Zealand visa.


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