Construction Constraint: Labour not Materials

18 July 2023

Mid-sized construction firms have weathered escalating costs better on this side of the Tasman than their Australian counterparts, with lack of workers their biggest challenge. An MYOB survey of 274 business leaders and decision makers in construction firms with between 20 and 500 employees showed businesses on both sides of the Tasman expect activity to perk up in the coming 12 months, with Kiwis doing it tougher than their western neighbours. 

The MYOB survey showed 49% of NZ respondents said those rising prices had forced them to absorb extra costs, and just 42% had to reduce their margins. In contrast, 51% of Australian respondents trimmed their margins and 49% absorbed those costs. The top challenge for NZ respondents, at 48%, was the shortage of skilled workers, followed by increased cost of materials at 45%. For Australian respondents, 63% put their top challenge as the increased cost of materials, and 49% cited the shortage of workers. 

Statistics NZ figures showed new residential building consents fell 11% to 45,159 in the May year from the same period a year earlier, while the annual value of non-residential work consented was up 10% at $9.9 billion.

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Source: BusinessDesk

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