The New Zealand labour market is experiencing a surge in employment thanks to increased immigration. The total number of filled jobs rose by 0.6% last month, marking a growth rate of 3.8% compared to the same period last year, the highest growth rate in over a year. Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon suggests that firms may be playing catch-up but are still on a hiring spree, which will support economic activity.
Relaxing visa rules have also boosted the workforce and reduced labour shortages. However, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will need to monitor the situation closely, as the current pace of immigration, running at an annual rate equivalent to 100,000, could increase economic activity and lead to a rise in unemployment. The RBNZ had previously forecast a rise in unemployment rates from 3.4% to 4.6% by the end of the year, peaking at 5.4% by 2025. The hospitality and logistics industries saw the most significant annual job growth, primarily in Auckland and Canterbury.
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