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New Zealand – Natural disasters increase employment

22 July 2013

The relative strength of the New Zealand economy is drawing people to the country, led primarily by immigrants moving to the earthquake damaged Christchurch region is search of construction and rebuilding work.

The number of people moving to New Zealand to live long term has reached its highest level in four years, according to an article by Radio New Zealand. Official figures show a seasonally adjusted gain of 2,300 immigrants in June, due to increased migration from Australia. The net loss of New Zealand migrants to Australia has fallen by 1,600 to its lowest level in three years.

Doug Steel, economist for the Bank of New Zealand said: “Employment growth hasn’t been as strong [in Australia] as in the past, the mining sector over there is turning over. Also [with] the Christchurch rebuild getting underway – the emigration we were seeing after the earthquakes is turning into immigration. So there [are] more people going into Canterbury than leaving.”

Economists expect that an improving economy will continue to attract more people from overseas and predict immigration will rise by at least 15,000 people by the end of 2013. Over the course of a year this could equate to an increase of 28,000 people to the population.  Increasing challenges in the Australian labour market have been a contributing factor in the migration reversal.

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