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04 October 2013
A new report commissioned by New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has found that temporary immigration has had, overall, a positive effect on employment and wages for native New Zealand workers.
The report looked at figures gathered by Statistics New Zealand and New Zealand's Inland Revenue to compare the wages and rates of employment of New Zealanders over the decade running from 2001 to 2011.
The report examined the impact of all temporary workers on the New Zealand economy. Temporary workers include
The report writers note that there were considerable changes in New Zealand over this decade. At the beginning of the decade the UK and Ireland were the two major source countries for New Zealand temporary migrants. By 2006, China was the main source country and by 2008, India was the leading country.
However, throughout the decade the data seems to show that New Zealanders have not been disadvantaged. The report's writers say 'the research was unable to find any evidence that [employment of temporary migrants] had adverse consequences for the employment of New Zealanders overall'.
In these sectors, temporary migrant employment accounted for between 25 and 50% of new jobs but, because the sectors grew so much, there were still extra jobs for New Zealanders.
There was some evidence that younger New Zealanders may have lost employment opportunities to migrant workers.
Immigration is an important economic lever, and this report supports the view that policy settings around temporary migration are broadly in the right space'.
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