As the New Zealand job market was less affected by the global financial crisis, employment has been gathering steam, particularly in the last three years. According to the Careers New Zealand website, “getting work in New Zealand has become easier as employers need to recruit people from overseas to help meet demand for your skills”.
- Construction had the strongest growth in numbers of people employed in the past year
- Most employment growth in construction was in Auckland, followed by Canterbury and Bay of Plenty
- The majority of the additional construction workers were technicians and tradespeople
- Auckland experienced the most growth with about three-quarters of all employment (23,100 people)
- Employment is forecast to continue growing at an average of 21% a year
- The strongest employment growth is expected in construction and related industries with the largest increases in Auckland and Canterbury
In Christchurch, the Construction sector is currently being driven by the effects of the Canterbury earthquakes. More than 8,000 dwellings have been deemed to be on land that should not be rebuilt on (Red Zone). There are other houses that will need to be replaced completely and many thousands more need repairing to various degrees.
Over 1,200 buildings in the CBD will be removed completely, along with many other commercial buildings throughout the city. In addition, the city’s infrastructure has been subjected to significant damage, the repairs of which are now well underway. Demolition, repairs and new dwelling and commercial construction associated with earthquake damage will result in a period of heightened activity in this sector for a sustained period to replace the lost building stock.
The sector is supported by an elaborate supply chain of mainly domestic manufacturers supplying materials and components involved in construction. Demand in this sector is also linked to demand for professional services such as architects, quantity surveyors, project managers and engineers.
Auckland Construction Boom
In Auckland, the government and City Council have committed to building 39,000 new homes in reaction to shortages which have pushed median house prices in the city to rise much faster than the national average.
About a quarter of the total growth in employment growth over the next three years to March 2018 is forecast to occur in construction and related activities. Combined, these sectors are expected to show the strongest growth in the labour market.
Construction activities are likely to continue to grow right across New Zealand, with Auckland making most of the pace. This growth will be driven primarily by residential construction in Auckland region and, in the early part of the period, the Canterbury rebuild.
Roles in demand include quantity surveyors, design roles, foremen and site managers to oversee the delivery of construction and civil projects.