This study begins to answer the question of whether temporary migrants have had an impact on the employment outcomes of New Zealanders, either when the economy is growing, as it has been over most of the last decade, or following a downturn, as has been the case more recently. While several studies have looked at the impact of immigration generally on the outcomes of New Zealanders, no studies have looked at temporary migration specifically, because of either data limitations or the recent nature of growth in this type of migration.
Migrants are attracted to areas where employment is growing. As a result, immigration tends to be positively associated with local wages and employment. We use econometric methods to control for this "spurious" correlation. We use a powerful new database that brings together administrative data sets from across government, most critically immigration, tax and business data. This database enables us to examine employment patterns of temporary migrants in New Zealand for the first time, and to robustly contrast these with employment patterns of the wider New Zealand population. The data set includes information for all individuals who have entered or left New Zealand since the late 1990s or who have had taxable earnings since the early 2000s or both.