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Is the retirement village industry about to employ more people than real estate?

Friday, October 05, 2018

Is the retirement village industry about to employ more people than real estate?

New Zealand’s retirement village industry is a major employer and generates millions for the economy – and it’s only poised to get bigger.
The retirement village industry currently employs 19,000 full-time staff in New Zealand; the same number of employees as the real estate, rental, and hiring industry.
And that’s not counting the 5,700 full-time construction workers it indirectly employs to build new villages, or the 9,500 new jobs it’s expected to create within the next decade.


These enlightening statistics come from a recent report, Retirement village contribution to housing, employment, and GDP in New Zealand, compiled by PwC for the Retirement Villages Association.
With these numbers in mind, could the retirement village industry soon employ more people than real estate, rental, and hiring combined?
Here are the employment statistics as they stand today:


[Source: PwC report]

Thanks to the 9,500 new jobs in the pipeline, and the several new villages under construction around the country, the industry is poised for high growth. By 2023, approximately 29,000 people will be directly employed by retirement villages.
Village Guide founder Paula Bishop says without the high number of people moving into retirement villages, these jobs wouldn’t exist.
“More New Zealanders are choosing to spend their retirement years in retirement villages than ever before, and that’s not just because we have an ageing population,” says Mrs Bishop.
“Retirement villages are becoming a highly sought-after, popular accommodation option because they offer myriad benefits to residents: security, companionship, peace of mind, lifestyle, and independence, just to name a few.”
The retirement village industry is unique in the sheer variety of skill sets it employs. People from a range of different backgrounds are required to ensure a village runs smoothly, from food preparation and cleaning services to business management and transport/travel.
In addition to the creation of jobs and the sizeable contribution to GDP, the retirement village industry also does a lot to alleviate housing pressure in New Zealand by creating new housing stock.
“Retirees are an important demographic to the real estate industry,” says Mrs Bishop.
“Nearly every new retirement village resident frees up a family home for sale. And even retirees who don’t move into a village tend to downsize from larger family homes, opting for a property that’s smaller in size and low maintenance.”
Mrs Bishop adds that she feels lucky to be one of the thousands of New Zealanders working in New Zealand’s retirement village industry.
“I enjoy educating people about the benefits of retirement village living and doing my part to support this flourishing industry. It’s one to watch.”
The NZ retirement village industry by numbers: key stats from the PwC report
  • For every 100 retirement village units, there is an average of 64 staff to support day-to-day operations
  • Approximately 9,500 new jobs will be created over the next 7-8 years
  • The construction of a 250-unit retirement village supports an average of 303 full-time employees
  • In 2017, the retirement village industry paid a total of $840 million in salary payments to part-time and full-time employees
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For further comment about the benefits of retirement village living, please contact Paula Bishop from Village Guide: