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The latest Greater Christchurch Dashboard shows unemployment in Canterbury is increasing but remains well below national levels, Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says.

Greater Christchurch Dashboard — Labour Market is the second in a series of data snapshots designed to shed light on the regeneration process.

The data, sourced from Statistics New Zealand, shows Canterbury’s level of unemployment was 4 per cent compared with 5.2 per cent nationally in the March 2017 quarter. 

At its lowest level post-quake, Canterbury’s unemployment rate was 2.7 per cent. In the March 2010 quarter, prior to the quakes, it was 5.3 per cent.

“The data indicates that while the rebuild is still providing stimulus in greater Christchurch, it’s now levelling out — as widely predicted,” Ms Wagner says.

“Employment growth data backs that up, showing an increase of almost 14 per cent in Canterbury from September 2010 to March 2017, while the national figure was about 18 per cent.

“At the height of the rebuild, Canterbury’s rate of employment growth was higher than the rest of the country but it’s fallen slightly behind in the last year.”

Average weekly earnings in Canterbury are slightly lower than the national average and growing at a slower rate — 1.2 per cent growth in the year to March compared with 2.2 per cent nationally.

“However, as the data I released last week shows, the cost of housing has dropped, with the average weekly rent falling from $400 in April 2016 to $386 in April 2017.

“Overall, greater Christchurch remains a great place to live and work,” Ms Wagner says.

Note: Greater Christchurch Dashboard — Labour Market is attached.

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