Construction surge shows in statistics

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 05:00 31/10/2013

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Canterbury has gained almost 5000 more construction workers in a year.

That's one of the main findings of business demography data released by Statistics New Zealand yesterday.

The Canterbury region had 4700 more construction workers in February this year than February last year.

And it had about 660 more construction industry business units, 9.7 per cent growth in the year.

The other were growing notably professional, scientific and technical services.

They had 900 more employees in February 2013 than February 2012, while the retail trade has grown by 600 employees.

In rental, hiring and real estate services, the number of business units increased by 440, or 3.6 per cent.

The data reinforces other surveys showing the rebuild and recovery of Canterbury after the earthquakes.

Canterbury was one of four regions of the country's 16 whose number of "business units" increased.

Canterbury had 64,850 business units in February this year, 1.2 per cent more than in February 2012.

That increase is the highest of the four regions which had higher numbers of business units. Auckland's grew by 0.6 per cent, Otago by 0.3 per cent and Nelson by 0.2 per cent.

All other regions continued the decline in business units that started in 2010.

Nationwide, the number of paid employees was 1.94 million, an increase of 0.6 per cent from February last year.

The number of businesses has fallen nationally by about 8300 since 2009, but the pace of firms falling by the wayside has slowed in the past year.

The figures show New Zealand had 472,600 businesses in February 2013, down 0.2 per cent from 2012.

It was the fourth year of a declining number of businesses, though total staff numbers increased in the past year.

"Business numbers reached their peak of almost 481,000 in 2009.

"But the number has declined every year for the past four years at 0.4 per cent a year, on average," Statistics NZ business infrastructure and performance manager Hamish Hill said.

The number of businesses grew strongly between 2000 and 2009.

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- BusinessDay

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