There seem to be concerns about the number of New Zealanders permanently heading over to Australia. In the year to March 53,237 people permanently left NZ for Aussie, up 12,331 from March 2011. To put this in perspective Australia accounted for 61% of all permanent departures – and annual departures to other countries were actually down 1,106 from a year earlier. This is all via good old Stats NZ.
To me this is all much of a muchness – however one thing I do know is that the level of the Australian unemployment rate, and the gap between their UR and NZ’s has a strong impact on the level of permanent departures over there … unsuprisingly.
As a result, the drop in the Australian unemployment rate to 4.9% in April should be seen as a signal that we will see departures stay high for a while yet. We can easily see this by just comparing the unemployment rate figures (which you can grab simultaneously off the OECD site):
In this environment, people are moving overseas to find work. It’s not surprising, and in of itself doesn’t lead to any policy conclusions – we need to add a few more pieces before we can really start to say anything. So this is just a little thing to keep in mind.