Young New Zealanders are leaving in droves as borders reopen and economic conditions tighten at home.
The latest data from Stats NZ found that in the year to March, annual net migration was negative, with 7,300 more people leaving than entering.
That loss marks a dramatic shift from early in the pandemic when border closures and the relative safety of Covid-free New Zealand prevented many from leaving.
In the year to March 2020 there was a record net gain of 91,700.
Now, many New Zealanders – particularly young professionals and graduates – are heading off overseas once more.
Stats NZ, the government’s data and statistics agency, said the losses were driven by young adults, with a particular increase in New Zealand citizens aged 18 to 27 leaving.
With unemployment already at a low of 3.2%, economists say the loss of more of the workforce via migration could create ongoing labour shortages. »