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Census reports more people living and working in Whanganui


Data from the 2018 Census shows that more Whanganui residents are working locally rather than commuting to work outside of the district.

“In 2013, the Census identified about 5% of the Whanganui workforce was commuting to jobs elsewhere in the region,” said Hannah Kelly from Whanganui & Partners. “In 2018, that figure was just over 2%.”

The number of people living in Whanganui and commuting to jobs in Palmerston North dropped by 46%, from 318 in 2013 down to 171 in 2018.

Kelly says this data contributes to the story that was started with the population data released earlier this year.

“With the population growth and the increased media attention on Whanganui’s affordable housing, we know that Whanganui is considered a very attractive place to live,” Kelly says. “This data shows us that Whanganui is also an attractive place to work. People are able to pursue the career they want right here.”

Kelly attributes the trend largely to an increase in the number and range of jobs available in Whanganui.

“In 2019, Whanganui had 20,168 filled jobs,” Kelly said. “That’s up 2% on 2018. Nationally, job growth was at 1.9% so our local economy is performing well when it comes to job creation.”

“Technology is also making remote work more viable, which means more locals can access the work that used to be tied to larger cities,” said Kelly.

“Given current trends, our economy is likely to keep opening up new opportunities for our residents. We expect to see more and more people basing both their families and careers in Whanganui.”

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