Reconstruction in Canterbury will underpin a slow rise in employment over the next couple of years though the global slowdown has pulled back earlier forecasts, a ministry report says.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's latest report is tipping job growth of 1.4% this year, rising to 1.8% next year and 2.1% in 2014.
That translates into an extra 85,000 people in work, less than the 94,000 the ministry predicted in March.
Unemployment is forecast to decrease from 6.8% in the June 2012 quarter to 6.2% in March 2013 and 5.9% in March 2014.
The head of the labour and immigration centre at the ministry, Vasantha Krishnan, says Christchurch will generate much of the expected job growth.
She says Auckland will also generate a lot of employment opportunities, while outside the construction sector, agriculture and health-related industries should also create work.
Ms Krishnan says finding skilled workers will continue to be difficult.
She says recruiting and retaining skilled labour was a challenge before the recession and that will continue, particularly as Christchurch recovers.