Description and Spatial Analysis of Employment Change in New Zealand Regions 1986-2001
Over the last two decades New Zealand has undergone fundamental economic restructuring, and phases of slow and rapid growth, which have resulted in some dramatic changes in the regional economies. This paper provides a detailed multiperiod shift-share analysis over three intercensal periods between 1986 and 2001 on changes in regional employment outcomes at two levels of spatial disaggregation: 29 Administrative Regions (ARs), based on Regional Council areas, and 58 Labour Market Areas (LMAs) that have economically meaningful (commuting determined) boundaries. The contributions to employment outcomes of national trends, sectoral composition within regions, structural change, and local conditions are identified. A four-category disaggregation of regional employment into sex, age,occupation industry is also undertaken. The results show a dichotomy between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, but also several distinct clusters among the latter. Regional competitive advantage is clearly linked with net inward migration. There is also evidence of significantly positive spatial autocorrelation in the competitive effect. Local indicators of spatial association help to identify regions that stand out in terms of being surrounded by similar regions, or by regions that are just the opposite, in terms of the competitive effect. Interestingly, regional population growth precedes the competitive component of employment growth rather than just being a symptom of it.
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