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Tourist hotspots struggling in September quarter – Stats NZ

Key tourism destinations such as Queenstown, Rotorua and Auckland had some of the largest drops in filled jobs in the September 2020 quarter in the wake of COVID-19, Stats NZ has released.

Queenstown-Lakes district had 1155 fewer jobs in the September 2020 quarter than in the same period last year – a 5.3 per cent decrease.

Jobs filled in Rotorua district decreased by 1.1 per cent (329 jobs). Auckland experienced Level 3 lockdown restrictions in August and had a 0.4 per cent fall (3,186 jobs) in the September 2020 quarter.

Filled jobs also fell by 2.9 per cent (108 jobs) in Waitomo district and by 2.7 per cent (142 jobs) in Ruapehu district.

"The falls in these popular tourist destinations coincided with the wage subsidies finishing and COVID-19 border restrictions interrupting international tourism," business insights manager Sue Chapman says.

"These decreases are part of an overall weaker picture for both filled jobs and gross earnings across a number of industries, since the onset of COVID-19."

Total filled jobs were up only 0.2 per cent (4777 jobs) to 2.1 million jobs in the September 2020 quarter compared with the September 2019 quarter. This was the smallest year on year rise since the series began.

Total gross earnings outpaced filled job numbers, increasing by 5.6 per cent ($1.8 billion) to $34 billion in the September 2020 quarter.

"Despite job numbers remaining at a similar level to last year, the average gross income has increased."

In September 2020 quarter compared with September 2019, transport, postal, and warehousing, down 5,537 jobs (6.2 per cent) had the largest fall, followed by administrative and support services, down 3,819 jobs (3.9 per cent). Manufacturing, and accommodation and food services also had falls of over 3,000 filled jobs.

Increases in construction, health care and social assistance, and public administration and safety balanced out some of these decreases – all had rises of more than 7000 jobs compared with the September 2019 quarter.

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