Last week Statistics NZ released their business demography statistics for 2013 which provides a range of information about businesses in New Zealand. One of the really interesting bits of information included within the release are employee counts by geographic area, which can tell us the number of jobs in each area unit. The data is collected annually in February each year and is available back to 2000. So what’s happening with employment in Auckland?
First of all, at a region wide level, you can see that at an increase of just under 6,300 jobs the increase was less than it had been for the prior two years. However, what we did see is that the total number of jobs surpassed what we had prior to the GFC, which is very significant. Note this doesn’t mean the unemployment rate is lower as we have had population growth and more young people entering the job market. You can also see that in the last few years there has been quite a jump in percentage of jobs in Auckland compared to the rest of the country with the number increasing by more than 1% in the last few years to a high of 33.5%. This suggests that Auckland is performing better than the rest of NZ which lines up with other economic data we have seen.
However the really interesting part is when we look at what is happening at a more detailed level. For each area unit I have assigned it to one of the following
- Rural Northwest – Rural areas and towns to the North and west outside the main Auckland Urban area. This includes the likes of Huapai and Warkworth.
- Hibiscus – The urban area of Orewa, Silverdale and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.
- North Shore – The old North Shore City Council area.
- West Auckland – The urban parts of the old Waitakere City Council area.
- Central City – The CBD and neighbouring fringe suburbs like Freemans Bay, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Eden Terrace, Grafton, Newmarket and Parnell.
- Other Isthmus – The old Auckland City council area outside of the Central City.
- South Auckland – The urban areas of the old Manukau City and Papakura District council areas.
- Rural Southeast – The rural areas and towns in the South and East of Auckland including Pukekohe.
The results are below, however for the keen eyed among you, the numbers don’t add up completely to the ones above as there are a small handful of jobs noted as being on one of the harbours or islands around the region. Due to how small the number, is I excluded them from the table below.
When you start to go through the results there are some quite interesting trends, especially over the last few years. The table below shows the change in job numbers over the same time period.
Looking at what’s happening recently, what’s surprising is just how strong the growth has been in the central city over the last few years. In total it accounts for about 52% of the increases in employment that has occurred, and over the last year that figure is up to around 78%. These numbers are absolutely massive but also show just how strong the demand for the central city is.
Looking at the other parts of the region, over the last year the only other growth of note has been in the North with both the North Shore and Hibiscus areas seeing any significant change. The one area that is particularly concerning is West Auckland where there are now fewer jobs than there were in 2004. I wonder if anything can or should be done to try and reverse the change.
Another area that these numbers highlight is just how many jobs as a total number there actually are in the central city area (map of which is below). Percentage wise it accounts for about 24.5% of all employment in the region however as a total number there are more people working in the central city than all of South Auckland, more than the Hibiscus area, North Shore and West Auckland combined and almost the same as all of the jobs in the rest of the old Auckland City area which includes all of the industrial areas around Onehunga, Penrose and Mt Wellington.
Of course this strong employment growth comes recently after we found out that there had also been some really strong population growth in the area.