152,000 more people in employment by 2020

The latest employment forecasts released today show that the New Zealand economy will continue to grow total employment over the next three years, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith says.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s report, Short-term Employment Forecasts: 2017-20, shows that employment will grow an average of two per cent over the next three years.

“It is encouraging to see that robust job growth is set to continue across the country over the next three years despite global uncertainty. The forecasts show that New Zealand will continue to grow as a highly skilled economy, with growth in the construction and services sectors continuing to support economic growth,” Mr Goldsmith says.

Employment growth rates are forecast to be highest in the South Island, particularly in the Marlborough (3.5 per cent) and Tasman (3.3 per cent) regions over the three year period.

“The strongest employment growth will be in business services, health and community services and construction over the next three years.

“Around 94,000 or 61 per cent of the employment growth will be in highly-skilled occupations, such as managers and professionals. Over the next three years, employment in lower-skilled occupations will increase by 40,000.

“The employment growth in highly-skilled occupations (2.9 per cent) is forecast to be greater than the overall rate of growth in employment, which is encouraging to see.”

The unemployment rate is forecast to remain at or below 5 per cent as employment growth will continue to grow faster than labour supply over the next three years.

“While there is still more work to be done, the new forecasts underline the resilience and strength of a growing highly-skilled and modern economy.

“The Government’s comprehensive Business Growth Agenda and the Regional Growth Programme will continue to support businesses and regions across New Zealand to build on their strengths, attract investment, and grow jobs,” Mr Goldsmith says.

More information is available on the MBIE website, www.mbie.govt.nz.

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