Strong economy boosts New Zealand’s job market

Positive business confidence and a strengthening local economy is helping to create a strong employment market, while flatter international job markets such as Australia are encouraging more New Zealand nationals and expatriates to explore job opportunities in New Zealand.

According to findings from the Michael Page New Zealand 2014/15 Salary and Employment Forecast, 42% of surveyed employers expect to increase headcount in their teams. The positive outlook for job opportunities coupled with a more subdued employment outlook in Australia is boosting New Zealand’s recruitment market, as more professionals return home after working overseas than in the previous 12 months.

Report findings reveal 67% of surveyed employers do not expect local talent to leave for overseas opportunities and 57% expect staff turnover in the next 12 months, up from 49% in last year’s survey.

“In 2014 we are seeing more professionals returning home to New Zealand after working overseas compared to 2013,” says Pete Macauley, Regional Director of Michael Page in New Zealand. “We are also losing less people overall to the UK and Europe while more expatriates are exploring job opportunities in New Zealand due to flatter employment markets elsewhere in the world. This is all having a positive impact in terms of talent availability in New Zealand,” he adds.

Figures from the report demonstrate a consistent trend, including 75% of surveyed employers in the property and construction industry not expecting their employees to take up an overseas offer, as well as finance (72%), sales (66%), procurement and supply chain (65%), office support (64%) and marketing (56%). However, the higher availability of local talent is not enough to fill the talent gap, with 52% of surveyed employers expecting a skills shortage, anincrease from 48% in last year’s survey.

“The subdued Australian employment market is having a positive impact on the New Zealand recruitment market as it is freeing up talent. However, while we are seeing an increasing number of professionals looking for a new role in New Zealand, it is not enough to fill the emerging void,” says Macauley. “The talent gap is consistent across all sectors and industries, with previous freezes on entry-level recruitment a few years ago creating the highest demand at mid-level management.”

The skills shortage is likely to continue over the next 12 months and will place increased pressure on salaries, with 51% of surveyed employers expecting salaries to rise above inflation.

To read the Michael Page New Zealand 2014/15 Salary & Employment Forecast report in full, visit the Michael Page New Zealand News & Research Centre.

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