17 July, 2011

Wellington manufacturing - what jobs?

Continuing my look at manufacturing in the Wellington region, let's see what product areas together employ over 13,000 people (based on government statistics).
I bet most people didn't realize that food is Wellington's largest product manufacturing sub- sector. And that's not all. Look at these product sub-sectors; they're ones that everybody tells you are all sourced from China these days.
  • machinery and equipment - 1500 jobs
  • fabricated metal product - 1330 jobs
  • polymer product - 1040 jobs
  • wood product - 950 jobs
  • textile and clothing product - 910 jobs
  • furniture - 810 jobs
  • transport equipment - 520 jobs.
Many of these manufacturing jobs will directly or indirectly be in design-rich product niches, or satisfying customers where proximity, relationships and bespoke design are more important than low cost. These manufacturing jobs have survived 25 years of economic restructuring, globalisation, wild currency fluctuations, and multiple international financial crises. These manufacturing jobs clearly have something going for them.

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