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Job losses still possible but economy looking up

Job losses still possible but economy looking up

The recession might be officially over, but there may still be job losses in some sectors, Canterbury Development Corporation Economic Analyst Amy Marshall cautions.

Releasing the quarterly Canterbury Economy report, Ms Marshall says Canterbury is more buoyant now because of the strong agricultural base, but some sectors are still feeling the pinch as they wait for new orders to come through.

“Our unemployment rate has consistently been below the national rate, but some firms, particularly in the manufacturing sector, have only just been hanging in there waiting for new work. If they can retain their staffing levels, it may be beneficial in the long term because skilled labour will become scarcer as the economy picks up,” she says.

Commodity prices have started to rise again, although the positive effects of that have to be balanced against the higher New Zealand dollar meaning exporters don’t get as much in the hand.

Construction had been hit particularly hard, but that was also expected to pick up with the economy.

Canterbury had lost fewer people to migration as our mobile population decided to stay put and weather the storm locally.

“We’ve suffered a lot less than other countries and I guess they figured that it was cheaper to stay at home than risk moving overseas in this sort of economic climate,” she says.

House prices were recovering, moving from a median of $340,000 in November 2007, to a low of $300,000 in January this year and now back up to around $331,000 in September.

Canterbury Development Corporation leads economic development for Christchurch City. The full report is available on the CDC website: www.cdc.org.nz.

ENDS

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