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Barometer shows job jump

Masterton’s job barometer is climbing, with nearly 400 jobs created in the town since last year.

The Masterton District Council decided to monitor newly established jobs in the district in July 2015, with the council’s goal to reach 500.

Since then they have recorded a total of 396 new jobs across a range of industries.

The job rise is on public display at the council’s Chapel St headquarters, on a giant job barometer on the north wall of the building.

Yesterday Sign Factory Ltd, of Masterton, were bringing the barometer up to date.

For the last two weeks, MDC confirmed over 70 Masterton businesses had expanded their staff.

Many of those employees reported a high number of positions being filled by people from outside the region, meaning many were choosing to come and live in Wairarapa.

Since setting up its customer service centre in Masterton five years ago, online electricity retailer Powershop now employs over 90 staff.

General manager Mark Soper said in the last year the business had taken on 32 new employees.

A big driver for growth was the expansion of the business into Australia two years ago, where Powershop now has 80,000 customers.

Technology Solutions customer services manager Lloyd Wilson said companies didn’t need to be based in big cities to be successful.

“Masterton seems to have a culture of businesses that think outside the square,” he said.

The Masterton-based IT company has increased staff from 14 to 19 in the last twelve months.

A leading developer of online monitoring solutions, Harvest Electronics has taken on six extra staff since July last year and now employs 28 people.

Sales and operations manager Andrew Munn said several of the new staff shifted to Masterton for the job, also attracted by the lifestyle and the opportunity to buy an affordable house.

A spokesman for MDC said the spike in employment opportunities come “on the back of recent data showing Masterton was the best performing district in the greater Wellington region with GDP rising by 3.9 per cent in 2015”.

MDC chief executive Pim Borren said residents could expect to see the mercury on the barometer continue to rise, and encouraged expanding businesses to contact the council.

The council’s drive for jobs is part of its My Masterton campaign.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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