European migrants earning more than Asian counterparts

  • 07/11/2015
European migrants earning more than Asian counterparts

By Paul Purcell

Skilled migrants from Asia are getting paid significantly less than Europeans who have moved to New Zealand, a new study has revealed.

The salaries of skilled Asian immigrants are between 18 to 27 percent smaller than those who have moved from Europe, according to research released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on Friday.

The median Asian worker earnt $45,108 per annum in 2005/06 while the median salary of European, South African and American migrants were all north of $60,000.

One reason cited for the discrepancy is 95 percent of skilled migrants from China were former international students, contributing to a lower income after three years.

But it's not just in the size of pay packets where Asian migrants are lagging behind.

They also have the highest rate of unemployment at 18 percent, significantly more than the 10 per cent average across all 12,513 skilled migrants surveyed.

One in four people in New Zealand were born overseas, but around a quarter of skilled migrants leave within five years of taking up residence.

The risk of leaving is at its greatest after two years.

Overall, around nine in 10 skilled migrants have a job, with a median wage of $59,004.