The coronavirus pandemic has boosted employment in the public sector, both in Wellington City and across the country, a new report has shown.
A report from Infometrics New Zealand, The rising importance of public sector jobs, showed the pressure on the Government throughout the pandemic had driven up public sector employment.
The public service was the industry with the third-largest job increase in the year 2020, behind health and construction, with 7630 new roles created.
More than 5 per cent of New Zealand's total employment was now within public service, which had grown from just under four per cent in the year 2000.
Infometrics Senior economist Brad Olsen said data over the last 20 years had also shown regions outside of the capital benefiting from the growth of the public service.
"We've seen that the public sector needs to expand to support Kiwis, not only in the traditional public HQ of Wellington City but also across the country," he said.
The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) was the agency with the largest rise in employment, with 1000 additional workers brought in throughout the year.
Oranga Tamariki had the second-largest rise with 609 jobs, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is third with 500.
Olsen said the Covid-19 pandemic had been an obvious factor in the growth of these agencies.
"Areas that require front-facing, detailed work for Kiwis really needing a hand, the Government is certainly working to up their capacity in those areas."
On the other end of the scale, the Inland Revenue Department had reduced their staff numbers by 164 due to new IT infrastructure, the report showed.
"We've seen IRD see their job numbers decline over the last year as they try to have a much more efficient IRD system coming in that's reduced a lot of staffing needs."
Olsen said the data showed central government departments, agencies and organisations were now looking towards more regional hubs throughout the country.
"Palmerston North for example has gone from having 1.2 per cent of total employment to 3 per cent over the last 20 years," he said.
Although jobs were being created outside the city, Olsen said public agencies and organisations would still be predominantly based from the capital - in which 17 per cent of the total employment was in the public sector.
"Wellington has seen some pretty solid and fundamental growth from that activity and that has really helped the city throughout the pandemic to prop up the economy and put it on a good path moving forward."
"Wellington will always remain the headquarters for public-sector agencies."