Agriculture industry jobs New Zealand 2010-2019

Agriculture is one of New Zealand’s leading industries, employing thousands of people and contributing to a significant portion of the country’s overseas trade. In 2019, around 86.7 thousand people were employed in the New Zealand agriculture industry, a slight increase from the previous year. The agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry had the second highest number of enterprises operating in New Zealand behind the rental, hiring, and real estate services industry.

What does the workforce look like?

With a high demand for skilled workers and a wide variety of seasonal work availability throughout the year, the agriculture workforce itself is diverse. Backpackers can find seasonal work during their working holiday across the entire country, year-round. The average age of employees in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry in the country was 39 years in 2018. The one-year retention rate of these employees was almost 83 percent in the same period, which lay in the middle when compared to the retention rates in other industries.

Regional workforce and outlook

Most of the workforce were located in the Bay of Plenty and Canterbury regions. The former known for fruit growing, the latter known for sheep and livestock farming. In terms of the fruit growing sector, the Bay of Plenty, Auckland, and Hawkes Bay regions employed the greatest number of people. The Waikato region had the highest number of dairy farm employees in the same period. In general, job prospects for the agriculture industry, especially for skilled workers, are quite good. There are no formal academic entry requirements for many farming jobs, with on-the-job training the most common way to start in the industry.

Number of employees in the agriculture industry in New Zealand from 2010 to 2019

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Release date

February 2020


New Zealand

Survey time period

2010 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Note: Release date was not provided. The date here is the date the data were extracted.

Employee count is a head-count of all salary and wage earners for the February reference month in each year.

Values have been rounded.

Source: Stats NZ and licensed by Stats NZ for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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Statistics on "Agriculture industry in New Zealand"

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