Jobs in skill shortage and labour shortage

Skill shortages happen when employers find it hard to get staff with the right skills for the job. Knowing which jobs are in can help you choose the best job option or decide what subjects to study.

Jobs in skill shortage and labour shortage can change quickly if economic conditions change.

Find out more by looking at job advertisements and talking to employers in areas you'd like to work in.

Reasons for skill and labour shortages

Shortages can happen because:

  • there aren't enough workers with the right skills available
  • turnover is high because workers are unhappy with pay or working conditions 
  • there is a general labour shortage, such as during low unemployment.

Shortages can change due to:

  • changes in technology or the economy
  • skilled workers moving to another country
  • people leaving the workforce.

Immigration New Zealand's Green List and Sector Agreements show skills and labour gaps

Immigration New Zealand's Green List and Sector Agreements aim to make it easier for employers to fill genuine skills gaps by recruiting overseas workers.

These lists can also give you an idea of which jobs are in skill shortage or labour shortage:

  • the Green list makes it easier for employers to attract migrants into skilled, highly paid and care workforce occupations. 
  • the sector agreements are a temporary measure to  make it easier for employers to attract migrants to fill lower- paid roles, with Accredited Employer Work Visas.

Immigration New Zealand's previous skill shortage lists can indicate jobs in demand

Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists showed that the Government was actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas to work in particular roles in New Zealand.

The skill shortage lists were last updated in 2019. They aren't being updated, but they can give an indication of jobs that are likely to be in demand.

Find out more about jobs that were on Immigration New Zealand's long-term, regional, and construction and infrastructure skill shortage lists within the following industries. Note that this does not include jobs on the Green List which were previously  not on a skill shortage list. 

Jobs in IT and Telecommunications

Information Technology

Business analysts design or recommend solutions, such as computers or computer programs, to help organisations meet their goals.

Data analysts identify and describe data trends using statistics and specialised software to help organisations achieve their business aims.

Game developers write, design, program, animate and test games for computers, gaming consoles, tablets and mobile phones.

Information technology (IT) architects analyse an organisation's IT needs, recommend solutions and oversee their delivery and implementation.

Information technology (IT) helpdesk/support technicians set up computer and other IT equipment and help prevent, identify and fix problems with IT hardware and software.  

Information technology (IT) managers plan and supervise computer and information technology services for organisations or technical teams.

Network administrators design, install and maintain computer hardware and software networks, from one-building LANs (local area networks) to worldwide WANs (wide area networks).

Penetration testers investigate security weaknesses in online systems and databases. 

Security analysts create and monitor security processes and frameworks to protect an organisations information systems and computer networks from being illegally accessed.

Security consultants identify security weakness in information technology (IT), advise on IT security, and design IT security systems.

Software developers create and maintain computer software, websites and software applications (apps).

Systems administrators develop, maintain and administer computer operating systems, database management systems, and security policies and procedures.

Test analysts design and carry out tests for computer software and systems, analyse results, and identify and report problems. 


Line mechanics install, repair and maintain overhead and underground power lines.

Telecommunications engineers design, test and build telecommunications networks and systems.

Telecommunications technicians install, maintain and repair electronic communications equipment in telecommunications networks and internet supply systems.