Rural population and farm labour change
The first part of this report examines some changes in New Zealand rural population since 1881 and more recent demographic characteristics. It shows that during the twentieth century, the proportion of people living in rural areas has dramatically decreased. The rural population has kept some distinctive characteristics and it differs from the urban population notably by having a higher proportion of children and a lower proportion of young adults and elderly people. Employment opportunities in urban areas and better availability of care facilities for older people can be considered as the main factors attracting people in these age categories away from rural areas. It has to be noted that at the same time, rural areas are also attracting important numbers of new inhabitants, which can probably be explained by the growing popularity of lifestyle blocks. The second part of the report concerns farm labour change. While the absolute numbers of agriculture and fishery workers in New Zealand have not followed an overall trend of decrease, their proportion in total labour force has been falling over the last decades. The profile of agricultural workers has also undergone changes, with notably an increase in highly qualified workers and a decrease in the numbers of workers with no qualification. Just like in the national population, changes have been observed as well in the ethnic composition of the farm labour force over time. To conclude, some elements concerning the labour market dynamics are examined. These show that the agricultural sector has the highest worker turnover rate, while the average hourly earnings in this industry remain less than the average in the total population.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsfisheries; labour supply; rural and urban population; rural development; rural land use; employee turnover; rural demographics; regional population change
Fields of Research140201 Agricultural Economics
TypeReport (Internal Use)
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