A survey issued on Thursday indicates the number of New Zealanders considering heading overseas has grown from 105,000 to 177,000, an increase of about 70%.
Some 16,000 of those thinking of leaving, work in the construction sector.
But Horizon Research said that not all who consider leaving will actually do so, and not all of them will go permanently, but it is worrying so many construction personnel want to leave before the Christchurch rebuild.
It said that category was also more pessimistic about the direction of the economy, household income and job opportunities.
The survey polled just over 3000 people in October and has a margin of error of +/-1.8%.