New Zealand reported a net loss of migrants for the second consecutive year as more residents decided to leave the country in the face of rising living costs.
About 7,300 more people left the country in the year ending March 2022 than those who chose to build a life in New Zealand, according to figures recently released by Stats NZ, the official data agency from the country.
Last year, it recorded a net loss of 1,700 people, making it the lowest net migration since 2012. In 2020, the country recorded a record net gain of 91,700.
“Migrant arrivals have fallen to levels seen in the mid-1980s,” said Statistics New Zealand’s head of demographic indicators, Tehseen Islam, as he attributed the record drop to travel restrictions and borders linked to Covid-19.
As the country faces high inflation of 6.9% and tough economic conditions due to the high cost of living, New Zealand residents are moving overseas in droves.
The temporary loss of residents is largely due to non-citizens, as around 33,300 left the border, while only 23,900 arrived, resulting in a net loss of 9,400. For the same period, around 22,200 citizens are returned home, while 20,100 went abroad, resulting in a net gain of 2,100.
The increase in migration has been mostly observed among young adults between the ages of 18 and 27, with approximately 1,800 citizens belonging to this age group leaving the country. With an unemployment rate of 3.2%, economists fear that the loss of labor could contribute to the labor shortage in the country.
“It’s a huge reversal – and the first time we’ve seen these negative numbers since the global financial crisis, the Christchurch earthquakes and the Australian mining boom, all combined in the early 2010s,” said Brad Oslen, Senior Economist and Director of Infometrics. The Guardian.
“The difficulty of finding workers is extreme across the country – you have a smaller working-age population than the year before, at a time when everyone is desperately calling for workers. [It] only exacerbates the pressures on businesses.
Meanwhile, the opposition Act Party has criticized Labor for its Covid-19 policy.
“The labor chickens have come home to roost. By locking down the economy and borrowing $50 billion, they left us with a mountain of debt and rising prices. Kiwis are struggling to make ends meet and are heading overseas for a better chance to get ahead in life,” party leader David Seymour said.
“Now we see changes on the border but it’s too little too late, we have already acquired the reputation of a hermit kingdom abroad and are becoming less and less attractive as a destination.”
Earlier in May, New Zealand opened its borders to visitors for the first time since the start of the pandemic as it moved away from its ‘zero Covid’ policy which was enforced through rigorous testing programs and traceability, accepting that it becomes unsustainable with propagation. highly infectious Delta then Omicron variants.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in October last year that the strategy of preventing or completely eradicating Covid would be “removed”, and then began easing restrictions once around 80% of the five million inhabitants of the country have been fully vaccinated.
The Independent Gt