New Zealand Net migration predicted to fall
A new report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is predicting that net migration will fall to around 65,000 in June next year under current immigration settings – compared with the June 2017 figure of 72,300.
The Migration Trends 2016/17 report is the 17th in a series of annual reports produced by MBIE that examines trends in temporary and permanent migration to and from New Zealand.
The report shows that the number of people approved for residence fell eight percent in the last financial year (1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017) to 47,684, following a 21 percent increase the year before. The drop was driven by Parent Category approvals, which fell 63 percent after the Category was closed to new applicants in October 2016. Skilled Migrant Category approvals fell six percent following an increase in the number of points required for automatic selection.
The number of migrants granted residence and staying in New Zealand for five years or longer is on the rise – up from 80 percent in 2001/02 to 89 percent now.
The report notes that on 30 June last year there were 152,432 temporary workers present in New Zealand – an increase of 16 percent on the year before.
The report also found that the 75,578 student visa holders present in New Zealand on 30 June last year was one percent less than the year before, largely as a result of an eight percent fall in the number of full-fee paying students and a 24 percent drop in Indian students.
The Ministry’s December 2017 baseline forecast is for annual net migration to decline by eight percent, reaching 64,000 in December 2019. Departures and arrivals are both forecast to rise with departures increasing at a faster rate.
The forecasts are driven by emerging trends in the historical data and the forecast economic and labour market performance of New Zealand relative to other countries. They do not estimate the impact of future policy changes.
The latest forecast assumes a lower unemployment rate and higher wage growth in New Zealand than in Australia over the next two years.