Coronavirus: No new jobs for a year in New Zealand - economist

An economist is predicting there won't be any new jobs for a year due to COVID-19, but this could cause a rush to the regions as people try to find employment.

Infometrics' Brad Olsen provided analysis to Newshub showing a 'second wave' of unemployment may hit New Zealand and an extra 80,000 people could lose their jobs.

He expects there'll be a rush to retrain since there'll be no jobs available for a year, but this could cause a major change to the way we live. As people look for work wherever it is and seek a cheaper lifestyle, a rush to the regions could happen.

Olsen believes a "job crater" will occur.

"I'd expect it will be at least a year until we see jobs start growing," he tells Newshub.

Jobs will fall and won't pick back up until September 2021, and it will be a long time until the economy is back to where it was.

Recruitment agent Peter Stewart says he's already seeing the shortage of jobs.

"We had an administrative role in [Auckland's] CBD, which had about 500 applicants in three days. Typically we might see 100 applicants over a month."

Olsen says finding a new job may be difficult for some workers.

"People have just lost jobs after being in them for twenty years or more. They are completely going to have to redefine what they do in the workforce."

Mike and Jayne Devine-Kinsella are two Kiwis who packed up and moved out of Auckland to rural Raetihi in the central North Island. Mike was in the construction and Jayne worked in television production. Both had work dry up due to COVID-19.

"When you are in a situation like this, you have to adapt," Mike says.

Jayne adds the cost of living in Auckland without an income is too high.

The pair initially began working at Raetihi's Snowy Waters Lodge to help a relative, but they're willing to try anything. Jayne says she can drive a tractor and "shovel anything that needs shovelling".

For Lance Muiaiva, who featured in Newshub's story on Sunday about the future of work, he may need to retrain after losing his logistics job at Air New Zealand.

"Social work. I've lived a good 47 years, I know what's going on around my community."

 Or like Jayne and Mike, he may find a new community altogether by getting out of the city.