Migration to New Zealand at record levels
Posted on March 26, 2015
New Zealand’s net migration level hit a record rate in February, as a result of more arrivals and fewer departures.
The country gained 55,100 migrants in the first two months of this year, almost double the 29,000 gained during the same period in 2014. Meanwhile, 57,500 inhabitants migrated elsewhere, marking the country’s lowest departure level since 2003.
The annual migration rate to New Zealand has broken records for seven consecutive years, as the nation’s economy has strengthened. This has boosted the supply of labor and reduced pressure on wage inflation.
Economists have attributed the fall in migrant departures to the reduced number of people migrating to Australia, where economic prospects are now looking weaker following reduced activity in the mining industry.
Westpac Bank’s Felix Delbruck has predicted that annual net immigration will approach a peak of 60,000 towards the end of the year, and remain high into 2016.
He said: “Net immigration is boosting population growth, supporting buoyant retail activity, and adding to housing market pressures – all while alleviating labor shortages and helping keep inflation low.”
Many IZA World of Labor authors have written about the economic benefits of migration. Klaus F. Zimmermann writes about how migration is typically “circular,” and can help to fill labor shortages. He says that restrictive policies on migration can be costly to both sending and receiving countries.