In two encounters this week, BayBuzz got two pictures of who’s ‘big man/woman on campus’ here in Hawke’s Bay, economically speaking.

In one case, it appeared the health industry was the big kahuna, with the claim that health employed 5,000-6,000 of Hawke’s Bay workers.

At another event, the familiar refrain was that agriculture ran the HB show, and woe to those who didn’t appreciate the need for more RSE workers!

So we decided to look up the employment numbers from neutral government stats.

Here’s what we found.

Health care – roughly 7,048 workers, with most of these – not all – relatively well paid. As follows:

Hospital:                                 2,639

Allied health services:        1,075

General practice:                     944

And being generous because of the health care component (and recognizing the ‘system’ wants to throw more health care to the ‘grassroots’):

Residential care:                      874

Aged care:                                1,516

TOTAL                                      7,048

Agriculture – roughly 11,472 workers, from low-paid pickers to quite wealthy corporate execs, as follows:                                 

Apple & pear growing:           3,131

Other ag & fishing support:   2,554

Meat processing:                     2,407

Sheep-beef cattle farming:    1,539

Fruit/vegetable processing   1,338

Wine & alcohol beverages        503

TOTAL                                        11,472

So, in sheer number of jobs, Ag sector clearly wins. Plus the dollar value of the goods produced is enormous.

However, in terms of the value of those jobs, our guess is that Health sector wins, both because they pay more to employees and because healing and saving lives has to count more.

In case you were wondering, Education is no slouch, employing 5,487 teachers across pre-school (1,133), primary school (2,219), secondary (1,537) and tertiary (598).

BTW, Hawke’s Bay employs about 85,000. Want to see where you fit in? Check this chart. All numbers pre-Covid.

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