The pandemic hit New Zealand’s economy in a significant way. However, even as the world scrambles towards the vaccine, owing to its strong base and robust measures, the country’s economy, including the job market seems to be getting back on track.
The country’s most significant job advertising site, Seek, has reported a 19% national growth in jobs advertised in the final quarter of 2020. The number of job advertisements on the website has bounced back to nearly pre-pandemic levels.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the national unemployment rate in the December 2020 quarter is promising and the trend is continuing to prove strong heading into 2021.
The employment data from Stats NZ reflects the favourable impact of the New Zealand government’s decisive actions taken to stimulate economic recovery.
The sectors posting the most vacancies on Job sites included IT and communications, manufacturing, transport & logistics and trades & services. However, jobs in customer-facing roles have taken a massive hit. Despite this Stats NZ said the third-quarter growth was the strongest in New Zealand’s modern history, coming off an 11% drop in the June quarter.
Off late various indicators have conveyed that New Zealand economy is bouncing back better than expected, and labour shortages are being experienced across many industries.
That’s good news for the citizens and the onshore migrants whose skills are back in high-demand. To ensure a consistent supply of labour to the local businesses, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has decided to extend several work visas automatically for a defined period. These changes have impacted a large number of 192,000 migrant workers who are in New Zealand.
Employers-assisted work visa holders whose visas were due to expire before 30th June 2021 now had their visas extended automatically for another six months. The Essential Skills Work Visa holders (earning less than $25.50) who otherwise had to leave New Zealand for 12 months after working in New Zealand for three years have their stand-down period postponed until January 2022. The Working Holiday visas stand extended for six months.
These changes have been made to ensure the consistent accessibility of migrant workers for New Zealand employers. The visa extension is not a guarantee, and the visa holder must meet the INZ requirements to have their visas extended.
Similarly, employers in New Zealand must adhere to the laws and regulations when hiring migrant workers. They would do well to note that while these changes allow employers to retain existing migrant workforce, they still need to undertake Labour Market Test (LMT) before hiring new employees.
The potential completion of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in 2021 can now only further the recovery being experienced.
If you are confused or have any queries, please get in touch with us. Talk to our licensed immigration advisers and have a proper understanding of these changes – and how they might affect you. Click here and get in touch with our team.
Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.