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Thousands return home, but are there enough jobs to go around?

Nearly 50,000 Kiwis have returned home since the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Nearly 50,000 have returned home since the outbreak of Covid-19. Source: 1 NEWS

It’s a movement never seen before and the situation raises questions whether there are enough jobs to go around.

Statistics New Zealand says the number of ex-pats coming back since Covid-19 is unprecedented.

While there’s an estimated one million Kiwis living overseas, the group returning home is relatively small, but on a scale never seen before.

More than 47,000 have come back through the border since restrictions began.

“One difference from historical trends is three quarters of those crossing the border since March have been New Zealand citizens,” says Kim Dunstan from Statistics New Zealand.

“Typically, of course, we have a lot of overseas visitors from other countries, but that proportion has reversed since the travel restrictions have set in.”

Of those coming back, roughly 35 per cent come to Auckland while the rest are spread across the country.

These returning Kiwis are here to stay and they need jobs and now there are concerns over whether the job market will meet demand.

“I think at the moment we’ve got around 124,000 people unemployed,” says Seek NZ’s Janet Faulding.

With record numbers seeking employment benefits and more Kiwis still tipped to return, the long term impacts of Covid-19 on our population and employment remain to be seen.