New Zealand labour market forecast among the most optimistic globally

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey shows New Zealand employers expect a slight boost in hiring in the new year.

New Zealand employers report a strong Outlook of +28% for Q1 2015, an increase of one percentage point quarter-on-quarter, and six percentage points year-on-year. The result is one of the most optimistic forecasts reported globally, with only employers in India (+45%) and Taiwan (+43%) expecting a more active first-quarter hiring pace.

The survey, which asks the hiring intentions of 650 employers across New Zealand for the coming quarter, found that 31 per cent plan to increase hiring in the new year, six per cent plan to decrease hiring and 62 per cent report no changes to their current workforce. The resulting Outlook of +28% is the strongest forecast reported by New Zealand’s employers since Q2 2007 and indicates New Zealand employers expect an active hiring pace in the first quarter of 2015, with strong opportunities for job seekers across Mining & Construction, Transportation & Utilities and Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sectors.

Lincoln Crawley, Managing Director ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand says the market is going from strength to strength.

“The sustained activity in construction coupled with strong business and consumer confidence is driving hiring in most sectors across the country, putting pressure on the local employment market. 

“In order to source the talent needed to sustain this activity, we are working with clients to find candidates both within and outside of New Zealand.

“As the pressure increases on the employment market, we are looking at ways to use all available resources.

“Where we can we use a ‘teachable-fit’ method, meaning we look at local candidates with some relevant skills and help to train or upskill them to meet job requirements. We also tap into overseas markets to source technical or senior talent if it’s needed immediately,” Mr Crawley said.

“We’re seeing a lot of candidates come out from the UK and Australia, where the employment markets have slowed; often we attract Kiwis who are returning home to make the most of the prosperous market.

“In engineering, project managers, site managers, quantity surveyors and senior mechanical engineers are all in demand.

“High demand for skilled trade workers also persists. In Christchurch carpenters, plasters and plumbers are desperately needed.

“The Transportation & Utilities industry is being buoyed by activity, particularly servicing the Christchurch rebuild. Consumer demand and increased retail spending is also influencing increased hiring in the sector,” he said.

Employers across the Mining & Construction sector expect to increase hiring by 10 percentage points in Quarter 1 2015. The sector recorded an Outlook of +41%, indicating it will provide strong opportunities for job seekers in 2015. The Transportation & Utilities sector reported the highest quarter-on-quarter increase of 18 percentage points, with an Outlook of +31% up from +24% in Quarter 1 2014.  

Employers in Manufacturing recorded the weakest Outlook of +19%, which is unchanged from last quarter, however represents a positive increase of seven percentage points year-on-year. Public Administration & Education continued its gradual improvement, recording an Outlook of +21% for Quarter one 2015, up two percentage points and six percentage points quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year respectively. 

Services and Finance, Insurance & Real Estate were the only sectors to report a decline in hiring sentiment for Quarter 1 2015, with Outlooks of +27% and +28% and a quarter-on-quarter decrease of ten and seven percentage points, respectively. 

Comparing regions, employers in Wellington reported the strongest Outlook of +29%, a five percentage point increase quarter-on-quarter. Christchurch employers were the only to report a slight decrease in hiring intention, down three percentage points quarter-on-quarter, to record an Outlook of +26%. Employment sentiment in Auckland remains stable, reporting an Outlook of +26%, unchanged since Quarter 3 this year.

In a comparison across organisational size, Micro-business employers recorded an Outlook of +14%, a six percentage point decrease from this time last year. Small business employers recorded an Outlook of +29%, a decrease of one percentage point from last quarter and a ten percentage point increase year-on-year. Medium sized business recorded an Outlook of +32%, up three percentage points from last quarter. Large business employers recorded a four percentage point decrease quarter-on-quarter to an Outlook of +24%.

 

Table 1. Net Employment Outlook Comparison by Region

 

 

Q1 2015

Quarter-on-Quarter Change

Year-on-Year Change

National

+28%

+1%

+6%

Auckland

+26%

+0%

+5%

Christchurch

+26%

-3%

+5%

Wellington

+29%

+5%

+8%

 

 

Table 2. Net Employment Outlook Comparison by Sector

 

 

Q1 2015

Quarter-on-Quarter Change

Year-on-Year Change

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

+28%

-7%

-1%

Manufacturing

+19%

+0%

+7%

Mining & Construction

+41%

+10%

+14%

Public Administration

+21%

+2%

+6%

Services

+27%

-10%

+1%

Transportation & Utilities

+31%

+18%

+7%

Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade

+30%

+4%

+8%

 

 

Table 3. Net Employment Outlook Comparison by Organisation size

 

 

Q1 2015

Quarter-on-Quarter Change

Year-on-Year Change

Micro

+14%

+0%

-6%

Small

+29%

-1%

+10%

Medium

+32%

+3%

+9%

Large

+24%

-4%

+10%

 

 

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