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Kiwi's take flight across Tasman for Aussie jobs

Friday 4th February 2011 1 Comment

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A flow of job seekers across the Tasman to Australia is limiting the economic impact of new migrants to this country.

Permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals outnumbered departures by 300 in December, down from 1400 a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said today.

The main factor in the decline was the 900 more departures by New Zealand citizens to Australia in the month, with the net outflow of 2000 migrants to Australia in December up from 1100 a year earlier.

On a seasonally adjusted basis there was a net migration gain of 750 in December, up from 600 in November and above the monthly average of 700 since February.

ASB economist Jane Turner said numbers for both permanent arrivals and departures were showing signs of stabilising, and she expected migration to remain relatively low but steady during the next year.

"Growing shortages of skilled labour may see arrivals of migrants on work visas lift towards the end of 2011. However, Australia's labour market is likely to remain relatively attractive, across many different industries and skill levels, which will continue to underpin departures out of New Zealand," she said.

During the past year the relatively strong labour market in Australia had drawn an increasing number of New Zealanders across the Tasman, and a steady stream was likely to keep leaving for the time being.

The low level of migration to this country contributed to slowing population growth, reducing demand for new houses, with recent weakness in net migration likely to be a key driver behind low building consent numbers.

ANZ economist Mark Smith said the December figures suggested a base level of support from migration, but it was somewhat weaker than a year earlier and unlikely to be the catalyst on its own to kick-start the housing market and consumer spending.

A reversal in the flow of New Zealanders across the Tasman was unlikely any time soon, with the Australian unemployment rate considerably below that in this country and a likely increase in demand for labour due to reconstruction work.

SNZ said that for the whole of 2010 the net PLT outflow to Australia was 21,000, above the 2009 outflow of 18,000, but still well below the outflow of 35,400 in 2008, SNZ said.

During the latest year there were 36,800 departures to Australia offset by 15,800 arrivals from Australia. In both directions, most migrants were New Zealand citizens.

In the Canterbury region, where an earthquake in September caused widespread damage, PLT arrivals were up 3% in December, while nationally they were down 3% from a year earlier.

Increases in natural and physical science professionals including geologists and geophysicists, and in bricklayers, carpenters, and joiners contributed to the increase into Canterbury compared with December 2009.

PLT departures from Canterbury were up 12% in December, similar to the national increase of 14%.



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Comments from our readers

On 4 February 2011 at 3:24 pm Waltraud Maassen said:
and I thought under National Kiwis would flock back to NZ shores. nice one Mr Key !!
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