The Nelson region’s economy will decrease by almost 8 per cent. Photo: Nelsontasman.

Nelson economy hit hard, says report

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The Nelson region’s economy will decrease by almost 8 per cent, with 1 in 10 people losing their jobs, according to a new report into the local impacts of Covid-19.

The report is also forecasting unemployment to rise to 8.6 percent, with the hardest hit industries being transport, retail and accommodation.

However, the region’s strong primary production and manufacturing sectors will improve the region’s resilience.

Project Kōkiri, the regional response collaboration to the pandemic, released the report on the anticipated economic impacts on the Nelson Tasman Region.

“Some of these forecasts make for sobering reading but it’s important we have an honest conversation about the significant economic fallout we are likely to face,” says Mark Rawson, chief executive of the Nelson Regional Development Agency.

The report is based on early forecasts based on a range of assumptions of the most likely outcomes for the different sectors of the Nelson Tasman economy over the year to March 2021.

Other key estimates from the report include:

  • The highest number of job losses will be low-skilled and there will be a larger effect on Maori employment.
  • Earnings across the region will decline by $280m.
  • The hardest hit industries will be transport, retail and accommodation.
  • The region’s strong primary production and manufacturing sectors will improve the region’s resilience.

The report also says there is an opportunity to build on the region’s strong lifestyle proposition as well as the importance of skills development and infrastructure construction in the recovery.

“This report confirms that the people of Nelson are hurting and there is no quick fix to the financial challenges ahead for the region,” Mark says.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says now is the time to dig deep, and draw on that resilient spirit that saw this community cope so well with lockdown.

The full report is available to view here.