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Source: Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce

A new report released this morning by the BusinessNZ network has outlined the severity of the situation we face in the labour market – and reinforced why we need the tap turned on for immigration right now.
“The Labour Market Conditions for Business report has reinforced that there is no spare capacity with critical worker shortages across New Zealand, high employment levels, and high demand for goods and services creating a compounding effect across our economy,” says Leeann Watson, Chief Executive, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.
“Our members have been telling us that for many businesses in the Canterbury region the ability to access critical workers has been one of the most significant challenges arising from the extended closure of the New Zealand border.
“The state of the labour market remains the biggest constraint to economic growth and is damaging economic activity. Businesses are concerned it is only going to get worse with a brain drain that is well and truly underway.
“Immigration has been a staple of the modern New Zealand labour market. Research conducted by Lincoln University earlier this year estimated that at least 10,000 additional workers are needed each year to replenish the shortages in the Canterbury region alone. We cannot rely solely on population growth to achieve this.
“New Zealand needs immigration at all skill levels, and we need to welcome migrants back to New Zealand right now, before they are plucked from the queue by other countries, and not underestimate the significant contribution they make to the economy and our communities.
“The time is right now for a simple, easy to understand and permissive immigration policy that provides our business community with the desperately needed workers they require.”