Jobs demand remains steady heading into 2023 reflecting how furiously tourism demand has come back in the second half of 2022 and confidence local business has in its continuance. All signs from seeing cell phone pings, guest nights, occupancy and spend all suggest that the region is back to 90-100% of pre-covid demand.
Most industry pundits, experts and government bureaucrats were caught off guard by how quickly demand came back and the last six months has seen businesses desperately trying to find staff to scale up and for most with limited success. The advertised job numbers are jumping around month to month but the trend is clear, while there are more candidates appearing every week and applicant numbers are rising along with many businesses have got staff coming in from overseas, but it’s slow progress and the accredited visa system is not operating as advertised.
In January there was an average of 188 jobs advertised a week, slightly higher than December and similar to January 2022 reflecting confidence that Queenstown will continue to see the growth in visitor numbers despite the predictions that NZ is headed into a recession.
The last Business Confidence Survey of 2022 reflected strong confidence in the respondents own business with slightly less in the district's economy and respondents felt very low levels of confidence for New Zealand's economy generally in the next twelve months .
Business activity is up but staffing and associated issues such as accommodation, or the lack thereof, remains businesses number one challenge.
There were 2,646 jobs advertised in the last quarter of 2022. This was close to the numbers the region traditionally advertised prior to the Covid disruption. This year however the focus is acutely on the staffing crisis in the F&B and Hotel sectors. PreCovid 60% of the roles were in these areas, which has jumped to 74% while construction has dropped from an average of 450 jobs in 2018 and 2019 to just 191 in 2022.