REPORTING ON OUTCOMES
Medium to Long-term Employment Outlook
MBIE’s Regional Economic Activity Report 2015 commented that the region’s strengths are: innovation, research and development, and information technology. This is shown by recent developments in the film and media sector, and collaboration between businesses and tertiary education and research institutions. Major infrastructure projects like Transmission Gully and the Kāpiti Expressway are creating short term employment opportunities in construction. These and other infrastructure projects will support further regional growth.
MBIE does not produce regional long-term employment forecasts, but, based on modelling by BERL, the key points on the national longer term employment outlook are that:
A key challenge for the region over the coming years is to grow, retain and attract skills. The region is, however, on track to meet government education goals, particularly for Māori and Pasifika students, and its working age population has the highest levels of educational attainment in New Zealand. The region remains a major destination for highly skilled migrants, supplementing the skills needs of the regional economy. Short-term employment forecast During the period 2015-2018, employment in the Wellington region is forecast to grow by 6,900, or 1.0% per annum. MBIE does not produce detailed employment forecasts for the Wellington region, but the key points of its shortterm national forecasts for 2015-2018 were that: •
The unemployment rate is expected to decline until early 2017, before rising slightly, as employment growth slows.
Strong employment growth is expected in the Construction and utility industry, along with the Hospitality sector, Wholesale and retail trade and business services.
Growth in demand for employment in highly skilled occupations (mostly managers and professionals) will be higher than the overall employment growth. It will account for more than 58% of the overall employment growth.
Opportunities for lower-skilled workers are expected to account for about 26% of the employment growth. The food processing, retailing, accommodation, business services and construction industries are expected to create most of these opportunities.
Employment is projected to grow at about 1.9% per annum over the 2014-19 period, and by about 1.5% per annum over the subsequent five years to 2024.
Moderate to strong employment growth is forecast for the retail trade and accommodation, business services, construction and utilities, and certain manufacturing industries, such as machinery and equipment and metal products.
Service industries, including health care and social assistance and arts, recreation and other personal services, are forecast to experience moderate employment growth.
Over the forecast period, employment growth will be weakest in the Primary sector. Weak to modest growth is also projected for the public sector, including education and training, and Public administration and safety.
• Employment growth will be strongest for highly-skilled occupations, including managers and professionals, which are projected to account for more than half of the total employment growth in the ten years to 2024. •
Opportunities for lower-skilled workers will be fewer, with annual growth of 1.3% over the 2014-19 period, and 0.8% during 201924. The construction and mining and quarrying industries will be a major source of employment for these workers in the medium-term, with manufacturing, transport and warehousing, and accommodation creating most of the remaining opportunities.