Hiring outlook for the country softens

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After two quarters of optimistic results the latest Manpower Employment Outlook survey has revealed a decrease in hiring intentions across New Zealand for the fourth quarter of the year.

However employers indicated the hiring pace is expected to remain stronger than the majority of countries that take part in the quarterly research.

The New Zealand Net Employment Outlook dropped five percentage points from last quarter to +17 per cent, a one percentage point drop year on year. In comparison Australia recorded a Net Employment Outlook of just +3 percentage points.

The survey, which measured nearly 650 New Zealand employers’ hiring intentions for the coming quarter, found that 27 per cent plan to increase hiring, 64 per cent plan to make no changes and just nine per cent plan to decrease hiring.

Despite the fall in outlook, Lincoln Crawley, Managing Director ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand, businesses remained upbeat and were performing strongly especially when compared to global results.

"There is still plenty of job growth and opportunity across New Zealand. On the ground we’re hearing that employers are positive about the market and overall growth opportunities for the coming quarter," Crawley said.

"Similar to last quarter, increased activity in construction for the Christchurch rebuild and also in domestic housing and infrastructure developments in Auckland mean there is a growing need for workers.”

"A sustained level of activity in the real estate sector is also helping to generate confidence among business owners and fuel steady streams of hiring, which, in turn, creates further activity in the economy."

Across the main three cities only Christchurch had percentage point gains. Employers in the Garden City reported a Net Employment Outlook of +22%, a three percentage points gain from quarter four. Meanwhile employers in Auckland reported six percentage points drop, resulting in an Outlook of +16 per cent, while their counterparts in Wellington reported 11 percentage points drop to +14 per cent.

Crawley said there are job market hot-spots in emerging sectors such as technology, which are helping to fuel positive growth in the broader employment market.

"New Zealand is experiencing a transformation of its growth model, with the emerging information technology and innovation sectors gaining weight in the labour market while some areas in traditional sectors, like manufacturing, weaken," Crawley said.

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