MBIE has finally released its annual Migration Trends and Outlook report. This is an annual publication, in this case covering the year to June 2016. When it was finally released – five months later than usual – it was nine months since the end of the year to which the data related. And all of this is simply adminstrative data – in MBIE’s own computer systems and files. Government agencies manage to collect and publish building permits data within a few weeks of the end of each month. MBIE’s performance here is inexcusable – the more so, as immigration policy is one of the major instruments of economic and social policy that the government wields.
When I’ve had time to work through the report and associated tables, I will no doubt have some more posts. In the meantime, I will simply leave you with this extract. From the roughly half of people granted residence approvals who come under the Skilled Migrant category, these are the top 4 occupations of the principal applicants (typically, almost by definition, any spouses will be less skilled – if not, they themselves would presumably have been the principal applicant).
Recall the nonsense MBIE – and to a lesser extent Treasury – have run about immigration policy as a critical part of economic transformation strategy (“critical economic enabler” used to be MBIE’s description). It would be great to see some evidence for the transformative effect – productivity gains for all, not wage reductions for New Zealanders in these and associated occupations – of the annual influx of so many people “skilled migrants” to our restaurants, cafe, and shopping sectors. Or, indeed, the aged care sector, where – as I’ve argued before – the so-called pay equity settlement looks to have been mostly not a response to gender-discrimination, but to glutting the market with immigrant nurses (and, in work visas categories, other aged care workers).
|Main occupations for Skilled Migrant Category principal applicants, 2016/17|
|Registered Nurse (Aged Care)||559||4.6%|
|Retail Manager (General)||503||4.2%|
|Cafe or Restaurant Manager||452||3.7%|
MBIE is so slow in releasing the data that all these approvals occurred under the previous government. Sadly, there is no sign that things will be any different under the new government. Presumably, buying a franchise for a coffee shop will continue to be a path to – in effect, buying – New Zealand residence, and all the associated family immigration this new resident aspires to. It probably wasn’t what the designers had in mind when they thought of entrepreneurial immigration, but it is the sort of shabbiness that our immigration system has been reduced to.