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Employment Trends for 2018 and beyond


The workplace is changing and is much different now than it was even a decade ago. But New Zealand has been taking the changes in stride, and recent unemployment rates are the lowest that they’ve been in over 10 years. 

Automation is becoming widespread, but most companies understand the need for people to work alongside automated technology. The rise in automation will likely shift what jobs are available to people over time, with machines doing more repetitive tasks and people being more focused on tasks that require critical thinking or situational awareness. Supervisors and equipment managers, however, are likely to be needed for the foreseeable future. 

Flexible working hours are also on the rise. The majority of companies are still sticking to the standard 5-day, 40-hour work week, but the way those 40 hours are worked are becoming more flexible for many businesses. This means that some companies allow someone to start a few hours later if they had rough night, and then they would make up those two hours later in the same pay period. Other companies have gone further and moved to non-traditional work hours like 4 days week or having employees work one or more days from home if they’re able to, and this trend is expected to continue. 

Many occupations still in demand

While some occupations have very limited jobs projected, others are in very high demand. Each year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation, & Employment creates an Occupation Outlook showing income, fees, and job prospects for specific occupations. 

Trades are still in very high demand throughout the country. Primary industries such as farmers, shearers, forestry workers, and deckhands all have very good job prospects and most pay above average income. 

Construction & Infrastructure still has a huge need for electricians, bricklayers, and other construction workers. Construction currently has an enormous shortage, and it is expected to have 80,000 job vacancies in the next five years. For 2018, many construction positions are on the long-term skills shortage list, meaning that there is a current shortage of people with those jobs and companies are hiring consistently. The skills shortage list is also helpful for anyone looking to move here on a work visa, as their application can be processed quickly if they have the proper qualifications. 

There is also a need for positions such as farmers, metal workers, mechanics, and electricians, particularly in Southland. This means that there doesn’t seem to be enough New Zealand citizens or residents to fill the number of vacancies for these positions. It also means that any Kiwis looking to go into one of these fields or who has the right qualifications has a very good chance of finding work. 


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