Households could go into their shells over the next year as economic conditions worsen, with little to support spending growth in the near-term, according to Infometrics’ latest economic forecasts. The stagnating labour market and the potential for house prices to fall both threaten to drag consumer confidence further below its long-term average.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins recently appeared before the Education and Workforce select committee to face a barrage of schooling related questions, but with little focus on tertiary education. However, just before his appearance, tertiary education data for 2018 and updated tertiary education forecasts were released, casting some light on the tertiary sector.
Lifting the skills and opportunities available for Māori has been one of the key priority areas of the government’s Wellbeing Budget. Plenty has been written about the socio-economic, health and other challenges facing Māori over the past couple of decades, yet many of these interrelated issues remain.
Dunedin is finally getting new hospital, much to the relief of locals! Current estimates put the cost of the new hospital at $1.4bn, with construction scheduled to take place over a six-year period from August 2020 to mid-2026. It will be the largest project in the area in living memory and will require different approaches to get the right mix of workers. In this article we draw on our construction sector and local labour market to examine the opportunities and challenges in store for Dunedin.
There’s plenty of talk these days about how employment will change in the future, as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation see a decrease in traditional jobs, the emergence of new jobs, and more job transitions. But these forces appear to be sculpting the workforce already.
New Zealand’s labour market remains tight, with unemployment at 4.2% and businesses finding it difficult to source workers. At the same time, employment growth has slowed, and the Reserve Bank has stated that, in its view, “employment is near its maximum sustainable level”.
It is not uncommon to be self-employed in New Zealand, with 415,511 or 16.7% of the total workforce currently self-employed. That’s one self-employed worker for every six wage and salaried workers. New Zealand’s self-employment rate is high compared to other small advanced economies and the OECD average.
Infometrics welcomes Merzan Wadia to our team of economists. Merzan’s article “Fall, rise and decline: the story of New Zealand’s self-employment rate” appears in our March 2019 newsletter.
Kiwis have overwhelmingly supported the government’s plastic bag ban, which will kick in mid-2019. The ban presents the wider packaging sector of 50,000 workers with an opportunity to retool and grow itself as consumers increasingly look for more environmentally friendly options.
Infometrics welcomes Rob Heyes as their newest senior economist. Rob joins Infometrics from MBIE, where he led research projects on migration trends and was the New Zealand representative to the OECD Migration Expert Group. Rob has a deep knowledge of labour markets and skills and works with our regional and sector clients.
We chat with Rob about what a day in the life of an economist looks like…