22 Jul 2010

Businesses see skills shortage ahead

3:49 pm on 22 July 2010

Business leaders warn New Zealand faces a looming skills shortage.

The number of immigrants last month was the lowest for five years.

Statistics NZ says the number of people arriving in June exceeded those leaving permanently by only 100.

Business New Zealand says most developed countries are experiencing low immigration in the sluggish economic climate, but this is likely to intensify existing skills shortages.

However, Waikato University professor of population economics Jacque Pote says the long-term trend for immigrants is still upward.

Professor Pote says people tend to be less mobile in times of economic uncertainty.

He says gains in net migration in recent years have been due partly to fewer New Zealanders going overseas, which is common in times of economic uncertainty.