Finding employment in New Zealand post Covid19
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus Covid19 pandemic in New Zealand, the employment situation here has worsened dramatically.
NZ recorded its first case of Covid19 on the 28th Feb 2020. We entered our highest lockdown level 4 on 26th March 2020 and exited 28th April 2020.
There are no official figures as yet to the number of job losses, but a KPMG report forecasts New Zealand unemployment in 2021 reaching between 9.5%-24.5%. The same report forecasts 2024 NZ unemployment between 4.5%-5.5%. The next few years look pretty rocky from both a business and worker perspective.
What employment opportunities, post Covid19, look like for kiwi workers is difficult to predict. The GFC brought rise to the gig economy in the UK & US. Whereas New Zealand, Australia APAC & Asia were not so affected. With the recent onset of trade wars between US & China, the Russia - Saudi Oil price war, Brexit & now Covid19, we have a cocktail of economic meltdowns all combined together potentially comparable to The Great Depression.
New Zealand has shown the rest of the world how to ‘eliminate’ community spread of Covid19. We hope this can be sustained and no second wave is imminent. We hope this will lessen the impending recession slightly nationally, allowing us to be self-sufficient, while we wait for the rest of the world to heal slower. But globalisation is established and our economy as a small trading nation will be severely impacted if the global economy halts completely.
The powerhouse of the NZ economy is the great New Zealand Small Business. They are the bedrock of our economy. Small Business makes up 97% of the 500,000 registered businesses in New Zealand. They employ 30% of the 2.7M kiwi workers & 30% GDP. The remaining 3% of Medium & Large Enterprises employ 70% of workers and 70% GDP. Which puts our economy in a fragile position, dependant on many large (usually International) Corporates.
Small Business is already feeling the effects of lockdown level 4 and Large Corporates have been releasing contractors and freelancers in great numbers during this period. The influence of overseas economy may well dictate the behaviour of employment to NZ multinationals, which may directly impact and influence employment trends in NZ for the next few years.
During the last GFC, the trend in the US & UK was to release permanent staff and employ short term contractors, freelancers. This gave birth to the term ‘gig economy’ and since the GFC, in the US we have seen the below work trends:
36% of US workers participate in the gig economy, either as primary or secondary jobs.
29% of US workers have secondary jobs
US workers participating in the gig economy report 40% of their combined income via gig work.
The takeaway from this for me is that the primary job is either no longer satisfying workers from a career perspective, or from a financial requirement.
I created gigexchange to facilitate interchangeable flexibility, choice, reputation transparency and fair fees supporting fulfilment of jobs and/or gigs together in one convenient marketplace.
The exploit associated with the gig economy are the lack of choice by the worker, the high fees associated to gig economy platforms and no giving back to the worker to facilitate upskilling and development. At the gigexchange we intend to solve all these problems.
The gig economy has an important part to play in complementing conventional jobs to satisfy choice of the worker. Be that through additional income to supplement their lifestyle of choice or providing opportunities to gain experience utilising additional skills or work they have an interest or passion in. Obvious examples include IT & Creatives. Web developers happy in their current job, but after additional income or exposure for future career development. Creative designers wanting to extend their personal network or test the water into freelancing long term.
No-one is advocating replacing jobs with gigs. During low unemployment, which has been the case in New Zealand for some time, the choice is with the worker. In tougher times to come, the balance may shift to the employer temporarily and we may see the adoption of the gig economy rise in New Zealand.
What we must address is why are so many workers ‘needing’ additional income? Therefore ensuring gig economy adoption via a secondary income is simply a personal choice, rather than financial necessity.
Who knows what the future holds for New Zealand and the global economy, but what I do know is if you are a NZ business struggling post Covid19 but still needing work completed, be that conventional jobs, contracts or just tasks completed, we can help at the gigexchange, all for FREE.
If you are kiwi worker who has found yourself out of work, we hope our NZ gig economy section or job site service can hopefully help you find all your income opportunities and more.
Stay safe New Zealand.
Empowering the win-win.
N.B. gigexchange is founded and developed by gig workers of the New Zealand gig economy.
Mike is the Founder of gigexchange.com and had his gig cut due to Covid19. He is still actively ‘work’ hunting.
We understand, we care.