28 March 2012
The number of people employed in the Waipa District grew strongly in the year to March 2011, indicating the local economy is in great shape says Waipa Mayor Alan Livingston.
A report by economics firm Infometrics shows Waipa’s employment grew by 2.8 per cent to 19,639 jobs in the year to March.
This was far stronger than the Waikato Region’s employment growth of 0.3 per cent, or the national average of just 0.2 per cent, and ranked Waipa eight out of New Zealand’s 72 local authorities for employment growth for that period.
The report also showed the 2011 growth was part of a trend of steady increase in employment in Waipa over the past decade.
For the two year period to March 2011, Waipa’s annual employment growth averaged 1.6 percent, compared with a nationwide decline of 1.2 percent. The Waipa district was the third best performer out of 72 local authorities.
Over the 10 year period to March 2011 employment grew on average 2.4 per cent each year, compared with growth of 1.6 per cent across New Zealand.
“These figures show our district is on the right track and it is pleasing to see that we are creating more jobs for our residents,” Mr Livingston said.
“It is further proof, after the strong gross domestic product figures for the same period, that our local economy is in great shape.”
The Infometrics report showed that Waipa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $1.14 billion in the year to March, 3.7 per cent higher than the previous year.
Dairy farming is the biggest employer in the district, providing 11.6 percent of jobs. Agriculture and forestry was the largest employment sector, accounting for 21.1 per cent of the jobs ahead of wholesale and retail trade with 17.4 percent.
These two sectors also added the most jobs in the year to March 2011, with agriculture and forestry gaining 254 jobs to employ 4,146 people, while jobs in wholesale and retail trade increased by 187 to 3,408.
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