Impacts of immigration on the labour market and productivity


New Zealand Productivity Commission

Date published

8 November 2021

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This report describes the role that migrants have recently been filling in the New Zealand labour market (Chapter 1). Chapter 2 canvasses perspectives on the labour-market and productivity benefits and harms of employing migrant workers. The report then looks at evidence on the impacts of immigration on the labour market outcomes of New Zealanders (Chapter 3) and on productivity (Chapter 4). Chapter 5 briefly describes the role of immigration in a few selected industries to fill out the picture presented in the previous chapters.

An Appendix sets out more detailed information on the distribution of temporary and recent permanent immigrants across industries, and how this changed between 2012 and 2019, using data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Migration Employment Dataset.

This report is a supplementary report to the Commission’s draft report for its immigration inquiry. It will be revised and updated to support the final report, which will be released in April 2022.

About the Commission's immigration inquiry.



Productivity growth

The goal of our research is to facilitate a move from an economy that grows by using more “inputs” (such as labour or natural resources), to one where productivity plays a greater role in driving economic growth – essentially, working smarter, with greater financial and knowledge capital employed per worker.

Our research explores a wide range of productivity issues: employment, firm dynamics, technology diffusion, innovation, regional development, spatial and public-sector productivity.

Working together

The commissioning of research and the practice of collaboration with others is important to us. It enables us to access subject/sector specialists and benefit from the cross-promotion of ideas and insights. You will find research from the Commission, as well as research we commissioned, below.

Strengthening learning

Our Economics & Research team is independently evaluated every two years to understand how to improve and enhance our impact. See the latest evaluation report and 2020 survey results here.


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