Advertisement

Earthquake Impacts on Immigrant Participation in the Greater Christchurch Construction Labor Market

  • Sin Meun How
  • Geoffrey N. Kerr
Article

Abstract

Post natural disaster immigration has potential to significantly impact labor markets, possibly affecting local workers’ employment opportunities and thereby community recovery. However, research is limited. This study examines the impacts of the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes on demographic composition and occupational structure in the Greater Christchurch construction industry using customized data from New Zealand Census of Populations and Dwellings conducted in 2006 and 2013. Replication of the discrete dependent variable regression methods used by Sisk and Bankston III (Popul Res Policy Rev 33(3):309–334, 2014) enables comparison with outcomes in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. The increased presence of migrant construction workers did not reduce employment of New Zealand-born workers, both non-immigrant and immigrant participation in the construction industry increased post-earthquakes. After the earthquakes, there was increased worker participation at the lowest-skill end of the occupational structure, but there were few significant changes in occupational distributions of non-immigrant and immigrant workers. Non-immigrant workers still dominated all occupational levels post-earthquakes. Construction workers’ education levels were higher post-earthquakes, particularly among migrant workers. Overall, migrant workers in the Greater Christchurch construction industry were more diverse, better educated, and participated at higher occupational levels than migrants assisting in the New Orleans rebuild, possibly due to differences in immigration policies.

Keywords

Disasters Earthquakes Labor market Immigration Construction industry 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work would not have been possible without the data kindly supplied by Statistics New Zealand. The authors are extremely grateful for constructive comments from three anonymous referees, which have greatly improved the paper.

References

  1. Belasen, A. R., & Polachek, S. W. (2008). How hurricanes affect wages and employment in local labor markets. American Economic Review, 98(2), 49–53.  https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.98.2.49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhula-or, R., & Ikemoto, Y. (2014). Migrant workers’ employment and their working conditions in the post-disaster recovery period: Case study of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake. International Journal of Economic Practices and Theories, 4(6), 995–1006. http://www.ijept.org/index.php/ijept/article/view/Migrant_Workers_Employment_and_Their_Working_Conditions_in_the_Post-disaster_Recovery_Period/pdf_75.
  3. Borjas, G. J., Freeman, R. B., & Katz, L. F. (1996). Searching for the effect of immigration on the labor market. American Economic Review, 86(2), 246–251. http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2118131.pdf?_=1467589192625.
  4. Callister, P., & Tipples, R. (2010). “Essential” workers in the dairy industry. Institute of Policy Studies. http://ips.ac.nz/publications/files/254c2a424af.pdf.
  5. Canterbury Development Corporation. (2016a). Christchurch and Canterbury quarterly economic report, March 2016. http://www.cdc.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Q1-2016-Economic-Update.pdf.
  6. Canterbury Development Corporation. (2016b). Economic update a success. Retrieved June 9, 2016, from http://www.cdc.org.nz/news/economic-update-success/.
  7. Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. (2014). Canterbury Wellbeing Index: Employment outcomes. http://cera.govt.nz/sites/default/files/common/canterbury-wellbeing-index-june-2014-sec03-employment-outcomes.pdf.
  8. Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. (2015). Canterbury Wellbeing Index: Population. http://cera.govt.nz/sites/default/files/common/canterbury-wellbeing-index-june-2015-sec16-population.pdf.
  9. Card, D. (2005). Is the new immigration really so bad? The Economic Journal, 115(507), F300–F323.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2005.01037.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chang-Richards, A. Y., Seville, E., Wilkinson, S., & Brunsdon, D. (2012a). The Canterbury Earthquake: Challenges and opportunities for construction organisations. Resilient Organisations. http://www.resorgs.org.nz/images/stories/pdfs/Organisationsfacingcrisis/apec_report5_reconstruction_final.pdf.
  11. Chang-Richards, A. Y., Wilkinson, S., & Seville, E. (2012b). Resourcing of the Canterbury rebuild: Changes and emerging themes. Resilient Organisations and The University of Auckland. http://www.resorgs.org.nz/images/stories/pdfs/report%20june%202012%20-%20resourcing%20the%20canterbury%20rebuild%20changes%20%20emerging%20themes.pdf.
  12. Chang-Richards, A. Y., Wilkinson, S., Seville, E., & Brunsdon, D. (2015). Case studies of construction subcontractors recruitment and retention strategies. Resilient Organisations. http://www.resorgs.org.nz/images/stories/pdfs/Casestudies_construction_subcontractors.pdf.
  13. Chang-Richards, A. Y., Wilkinson, S., Seville, E., & Brunsdon, D. (2016). Trends in resourcing and employment practice of Canterbury construction organisations. Resilient Organisations. http://www.resorgs.org.nz/images/stories/pdfs/2016/Research_Reports/ResOrgs_Research_Report_2016_2_Trends_in_resourcing.pdf.
  14. Christie, E. M. (2012). Migrant dairy farm staff in Canterbury—Filipino and Chilean experiences. Dissertation, Lincoln University, Lincoln. https://researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10182/4636/christie_bagsci.pdf;jsessionid=7B50F078B458151F91D3FFE287DC35A9?sequence=3.
  15. Construction Sector Leaders Group. (2013). Construction sector workforce plan for Greater Christchurch. http://www.constructionstrategygroup.org.nz/downloads/Construction_Sector_Plan_-_FINAL.pdf.
  16. Davidson, C. (2015, October 30). The changing face of Christchurch. The Press, p. A11.Google Scholar
  17. Deryugina, T., Kawano, L., & Levitt, S. (2014). The economic impact of Hurricane Katrina on its victims: Evidence from individual tax returns. National Bureau of Economic Research. http://www.nber.org/papers/w20713.pdf.
  18. Donato, K. M., Trujillo-Pagán, N., Bankston, C. L., III, & Singer, A. (2007). Reconstructing New Orleans after Katrina: The emergence of an immigrant labor market. In D. L. Brunsma, D. Overfelt, & J. S. Picou (Eds.), The sociology of Katrina: Perspectives on a modern catastrophe (pp. 217–234). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  19. Donner, W., & Rodríguez, H. (2008). Population composition, migration and inequality: The influence of demographic changes on disaster risk and vulnerability. Social Forces, 87(2), 1089–1114.  https://doi.org/10.1353/sof.0.0141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Earthquake Commission, and Centre for Advanced Engineering. (1995). The challenge of rebuilding cities. In Symposium conducted at the Meeting of the Wellington After the Quake, Wellington, New Zealand. http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10092/11518/ATQ.pdf?sequence=1#page=133.
  21. Elliott, J. R., & Pais, J. (2006). Race, class, and Hurricane Katrina: Social differences in human responses to disaster. Social Science Research, 35(2), 295–321.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2006.02.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fabling, R., Grimes, A., & Timar, L. (2014). Natural selection: Firm performance following the Canterbury earthquakes. Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. http://motu-www.motu.org.nz/wpapers/14_08.pdf.
  23. Fabling, R., Grimes, A., & Timar, L. (2016). Labour market dynamics following a regional disaster. Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. http://motu-www.motu.org.nz/44522B9B-5FF0-4961-858F-591504F35936/FinalDownload/DownloadId-0824D42F1A544F85C9C70D38CB85563D/44522B9B-5FF0-4961-858F-591504F35936/wpapers/16_07.pdf.
  24. Filer, R. (1992). The effect of immigrant arrivals on migratory patterns of native workers. In G. J. Borjas & R. B. Freeman (Eds.), Immigration and the workforce: Economic consequences for the United States and source areas (pp. 245–270). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6911.pdf.
  25. Fletcher, L. E., Pham, P., Stover, E., & Vinck, P. (2006). Rebuilding after Katrina: A population-based study of labor and human rights in New Orleans. http://ssrn.com/abstract=1448373.
  26. Frey, W. H. (1995). Immigration and internal migration ‘flight’ from US metropolitan areas: Toward a new demographic Balkanisation. Urban Studies, 32(4–5), 733–757.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00420989550012861.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Friesen, W. (2016). Urban demographics. In D. Reeves, S. K. Lenihan & S. Mannakkara (Eds.), A state of New Zealand report for UN Habitat III (pp. 27–38). Auckland: Urban Research Network, University of Auckland. https://cdn.auckland.ac.nz/assets/creative/schools-programmes-centres/URN/documents/A-State-of-NZ-Report.pdf.
  28. Fussell, E. (2009a). Hurricane chasers in New Orleans: Latino immigrants as a source of a rapid response labor force. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0739986309339735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fussell, E. (2009b). Post-Katrina New Orleans as a new migrant destination. Organization and Environment, 22(4), 458–469.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1086026609347191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. GeoNet. (2015). Canterbury aftershocks. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://info.geonet.org.nz/display/home/Canterbury+Aftershocks.
  31. Groen, J. A., Kutzbach, M. J., & Polivka, A. E. (2015). Storms and jobs: The effect of hurricanes on individuals’ employment and earnings over the long term. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2648980.
  32. Higuchi, Y., Inui, T., Hosoi, T., Takabe, I., & Kawakami, A. (2012). The impact of the Great East Japan earthquake on the labor market—Need to resolve the employment mismatch in the disaster-stricken areas. Japan Labor Review, 9(4), 4–21. http://203.181.235.4/english/JLR/documents/2012/JLR36_higuchi.pdf.
  33. Hooper, T. (2016, May 27). A tale of two cities as new voices proliferate. The Press, p. A11.Google Scholar
  34. Immigration New Zealand. (2015, June 26). Essential Skills instructions changes—Canterbury rebuild and new nationwide labour hire accreditation provisions. Retrieved July 6, 2016, from http://dol.govt.nz/immigration/knowledgebase/item/18949.
  35. International Labour Organization. (2007). International labour standards on migrant workers’ rights: Guide for policymakers and practitioners in Asia and the Pacific. Bangkok: International Labour Office. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—asia/—ro-bangkok/documents/publication/wcms_146244.pdf.
  36. Kirchberger, M. (2014). Natural disasters and labour markets. Centre for the Study of African Economies, Department of Economics, University of Oxford. http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/csae-wps-2014-19.pdf.
  37. Kugler, A., & Yuksel, M. (2008). Effects of low-skilled immigration on U.S. Natives: Evidence from Hurricane Mitch. http://www.nber.org/papers/w14293.pdf.
  38. Lanigan, T. (1995). Physical reconstruction: Availability of material, labour and plant from within New Zealand and the role of the private sector. In Paper presented at the Meeting of the Wellington after Quake, Wellington. http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10092/11518/ATQ.pdf?sequence=1#page=133.
  39. Lewis, E., & Peri, G. (2015). Immigration and the economy of cities and regions. In J. V. H. Gilles Duranton & C. S. William (Eds.), Handbook of regional and urban economics (Vol. 5, pp. 625–685). Elsevier. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780444595171000106.
  40. Love, T. (2011). Population movement after natural disasters: A literature review and assessment of Christchurch data. http://www.srgexpert.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Population-movement-after-natural-disasters-a-literature-review-and-assessment-of-Christchurch-data.pdf.
  41. Maré, D. C., & Stillman, S. (2009). The impact of immigration on the labour market outcomes of New Zealanders. Wellington: Department of Labour. http://www.mbie.govt.nz/publications-research/research/migrants—economic-impacts/impacts-labour-market-outcomes.pdf.
  42. McLeod, K., & Maré, D. (2013). The rise of temporary migration in New Zealand and its impact on the labour market. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. http://www.mbie.govt.nz/publications-research/research/migrants—economic-impacts/rise-of-temporary-migration-in-NZ-and-its-Impact-on-the-Labour-Market2013.pdf.
  43. Ministry of Business‚ Innovation and Employment. (2015). Migration trends and outlook 2014/2015. http://www.mbie.govt.nz/publications-research/research/migrants—monitoring/migration-trends-and-outlook-2014-15.pdf.
  44. Ministry of Education. (2016). Education count: NCEA Level 3 or UE Award. Retrieved June 1, 2016, from https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/schooling/senior-student-attainment/school-leavers2/university-entrance-standard-numbers.
  45. Montgomerie, J. (2013, July 28). Foreign workers flock to Christchurch rebuild. Critic. http://www.critic.co.nz/news/article/3152/foreign-workers-flock-to-christchurch-rebuild.
  46. Mueller, V., & Quisumbing, A. (2011). How resilient are labour markets to natural disasters? The case of the 1998 Bangladesh flood. The Journal of Development Studies, 47(12), 1954–1971.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2011.579113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. New Zealand Qualifications Authority. (n.d.). Understanding New Zealand qualifications. Retrieved June 1, 2016, from http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/studying-in-new-zealand/understand-nz-quals/.
  48. Newell, J., Beaven, S., & Johnston, D. M. (2012). Population movements following the 2010–2011 Canterbury Earthquakes: Summary of research workshops November 2011 and current evidence. http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/fms/Colleges/College%20of%20Humanities%20and%20Social%20Sciences/Psychology/Disasters/pubs/GNS/2012/Misc_Series_44.pdf.
  49. Ottaviano, G. I. P., & Peri, G. (2006). Rethinking the effects of immigration on wages. National Bureau of Economic Research. http://www.nber.org/papers/w12497.pdf.
  50. Pais, J. F., & Elliott, J. R. (2008). Places as recovery machines: Vulnerability and neighborhood change after major hurricanes. Social Forces, 86(4), 1415–1453.  https://doi.org/10.1353/sof.0.0047.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Parker, M., & Steenkamp, D. (2012). The economic impact of the Canterbury earthquakes. In M. Reddell, B. Hodgetts & J. Richardson (Eds.), Reserve Bank of New Zealand bulletin (Vol. 75, pp. 13–25). http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/ReserveBank/Files/Publications/Bulletins/2012/2012sep75-3.pdf.
  52. Peri, G. (2011a). The impact of immigration on native poverty through labor market competition. National Bureau of Economic Research. http://www.nber.org/papers/w17570.pdf.
  53. Peri, G. (2011b). Rethinking the area approach: Immigrants and the labor market in California. Journal of International Economics, 84(1), 1–14.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinteco.2011.02.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pew Hispanic Center. (2007). Construction jobs expand for Latinos despite slump in housing market. http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/28.pdf.
  55. Piri, I. S., Chang-Richards, Y., & Wilkinson, S. (2015). Skills shortages in the Christchurch subcontracting sector. In Symposium conducted at the meeting of the ANDROID Residential Doctoral School proceeding, 5th international conference on building resilience, Newcastle, Australia. http://www.resorgs.org.nz/images/stories/pdfs/journal/Skills_Shortage_Christchurch_Subcontracting_Sector_Piri_2015.pdf.
  56. PWC. (2011). Valuing the role of construction in the New Zealand economy: A report to the Construction Strategy Group. Auckland: PricewaterhouseCoopers. http://www.constructionstrategygroup.org.nz/downloads/PwC%20Report%20-%20Construction%20Sector%20Analysis%20Final%204%20Oct.pdf.
  57. Ryan, C., & Sinning, M. (2012). The training requirements of foreign-born workers in different countries. Australia. https://www.ncver.edu.au/__data/assets/file/0024/9447/training-foreign-born-workers-2520.pdf.
  58. Searle, W., McLeod, K., & Ellen-Eliza, N. (2015). Vulnerable temporary migrant workers: Canterbury construction industry. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. http://www.mbie.govt.nz/publications-research/research/migrants—settlement/vulnerable-temporary-migrant-workers-canterbury-construction.pdf.
  59. Sisk, B., & Bankston, C. L., III. (2014). Hurricane Katrina, a construction boom, and a new labor force: Latino immigrants and the New Orleans construction industry, 2000 and 2006–2010. Population Research and Policy Review, 33(3), 309–334.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11113-013-9311-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Statistics New Zealand. (2009). Final report of a review of the official ethnicity statistical standard 2009. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Households/review-of-the-official-ethnicity-statistical-standard-2009.aspx.
  61. Statistics New Zealand. (2014a). 2013 Census QuickStats about Greater Christchurch. http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-about-greater-chch.aspx.
  62. Statistics New Zealand. (2014b). International migration to and from Canterbury region: 1996–2014. In Statistics New Zealand international travel and migration article. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/Migration/international-travel-and-migration-articles/international-migration-canterbury-1996-2014.aspx#Canterbury_EQ.
  63. Statistics New Zealand. (2015). Commuting patterns in Greater Christchurch: Trends from the census of population and dwellings 2006 and 2013. http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/commutingpatternschch.aspx.
  64. Statistics New Zealand. (n.d.-a). 2013 Census ethnic group profiles. Retrieved August 17, 2016, from http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/ethnic-profiles.aspx?request.
  65. Stirling, M., Gerstenberger, M., Goded, T., & Ries, W. (2015). Macroseismic intensity assessment for the M6.2 2011 Christchurch earthquake, GNS Science Consultancy Report 2015/26.Google Scholar
  66. Strobl, E. (2011). The economic growth impact of hurricanes: Evidence from U.S. coastal counties. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 93(2), 575–589.  https://doi.org/10.1162/rest_a_00082.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Takabe, I., & Inui, T. (2013). The estimation of great earthquake impacts on Japanese labor market, agricultural sector and GDP. In Symposium conducted at the Meeting of the 59th ISI World Statistics Congress, Hong Kong, August 25–30, 2013. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.666.1638&rep=rep1&type=pdf.
  68. The Treasury. (2013). Budget 2013 information release. http://www.treasury.govt.nz/downloads/pdfs/b13-info/b13-2594745.pdf.
  69. Tierney, K. J. (2007). From the margins to the mainstream? Disaster research at the crossroads. Annual Review of Sociology, 33(1), 503–525.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.33.040406.131743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Vigdor, J. (2008). The economic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Economic Perspective, 22(4), 135–154.  https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.22.4.135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Vinck, P., Pham, P. N., Fletcher, L. E., & Stover, E. (2009). Inequalities and prospects: Ethnicity and legal status in the construction labor force after Hurricane Katrina. Organization and Environment, 22(4), 470–478.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1086026609347192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wood, A., Noy, I., & Parker, M. (2016). The Canterbury rebuild five years on from the Christchurch earthquake. Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, 79(3), 3–15. http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/ReserveBank/Files/Publications/Bulletins/2016/2016feb79-3.pdf.
  73. Woodhouse, M. (2015, May 12). Immigration changes to support rebuild. Retrieved October 17, 2016, from https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/immigration-changes-support-rebuild.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Petaling JayaMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Environmental ManagementLincoln UniversityChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations