Employment in Waikato District increased 3.5% in the 2018 financial year, higher than a national growth figure of 3%, according to the latest statistics from Infometrics, and unemployment across the Waikato region has remained the lowest in the country at 3.4% in the latest December 2018 quarter compared with the latest national figure of 4.3%.
While the primary industries are still the biggest employers in the district, the construction industry has created the most new jobs in the past financial year and has also made the biggest contribution to employment growth in the district over the past decade. At 26.5% the rate of self-employment also outstrips the national rate of 16.7%.
The number of businesses grew1.2% to nearly 9,500, higher than national growth rate of 0.7%, while the district’s population has grown 2.3% to 75,300 compared with a national population growth of 1.9%.
Waikato District Council’s General Manager Community Growth Clive Morgan says the latest Infometrics report reflects other evidence of continued interest in the district by people and businesses looking to realise value in the ‘golden triangle’, but to avoid Auckland congestion.
“Waikato district is in the enviable position of having affordable land within an easy commute to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga which has resulted in a high rate of population growth over the past four years. What’s exciting is to see the increase of new businesses to the district. These businesses offer more local employment opportunities to enable our residents to spend less time commuting and more time with their families.” Morgan says.
“Reducing the number of workers commuting to jobs outside of the district remains a challenge, so we are continuing to promote and grow local employment opportunities as much as possible.”
The district continues to be one of the fastest-growing in the country according to new dwellings consents figures collated by Statistics NZ for the year to December 2018, and regional unemployment has been lower than the national average for most quarters as collated by Statistics NZ over the past two years.
Infometrics statistics show house price growth was 7.4% for the March 2018 year, higher than the national house price growth of 5.5%, but at $463,308, the average value of a house in Waikato district was more affordable than the New Zealand median of $639,536.
Details are available at https://ecoprofile.infometrics.co.nz/Waikato%2bDistrict
Photo: Waikato district continues to grow