Workers perceive the economy as worse off now than it was a year ago

New Zealand workers’ confidence in the economy has reached a low point with just 14 percent of workers rating the economy as ‘secure’ while the proportion of workers who rate it as ‘not secure’ has grown to 35 percent, according to the latest quarterly ELMO Employee Sentiment Index.

A statement from the company says the ratings are considerably worse compared to the same period last year when 19 percent of workers rated the economy as ‘secure’ while just 20 percent rated it as ‘not secure’.

It says that although workers feel the economy is less secure than it was a year ago, two thirds of workers (63 percent) anticipate they will receive a pay increase within the next year. The expectations of a pay rise may be related to the proportion of workers who feel they are fairly remunerated for their work falling from 63 percent last quarter to 59 percent this quarter.

“Concerns about economic security appear to be driven by international conflict and instability with 83 percent of workers stating they’re worried global conflict will negatively impact their economic security. However, just 38 percent are concerned that global conflict will impact their job security.”

Elmo says that while workers are skeptical about the security of the economy, they are slightly more confident about their job security and that of their industry and organisation.

More than half  (56 percent) of workers rate their job as secure, 60 percent consider their industry secure and 56 percent rate their organisation as secure.

The company says the findings into workers’ perceptions of economic security and expectations for higher pay are some of the latest findings of the ELMO Employee Sentiment Index for the three months ending March 2022

The study is commissioned by ELMO Software and conducted by independent research firm Lonergan Research each quarter among more than 500 geographically dispersed working New Zealanders. The poll data is weighted to the latest StatsNZ data.

The company adds that it seems the ‘Great Resignation’ may be tapering off among New Zealand workers. The proportion of workers who plan to actively search for a new job this year has fallen from 43 percent last quarter to 39 percent this quarter.

“However, the slow down of the ‘Great Resignation’ doesn’t mean employers should expect employees to stick around long term. More than a third (33 percent) of workers expect they’ll stay in their current jobs for less than 18 months. A fifth (21 percent) expect they will be gone in less than 12 months.”

ELMO Software CEO Danny Lessem says these insights are an opportunity for employers to engage with their workforce to learn more about their concerns and what they can do to address them to drive greater retention.

“Plummeting confidence in the economy makes it clear that workers aren’t being reassured that things will stabilise. Instead, they’re seeing rising living costs as inflationary pressures and global conflict erode their confidence in the economy.

“In this latest Employee Sentiment Index we have seen more workers than recorded before say they expect a pay rise.

“There’s some good news and bad news for employers in these latest insights. The good news is that the ‘Great Resignation’ has slowed down with fewer workers planning to search for a job this year than previously recorded. The bad news is a third of workers expect they’ll be out the door in the next 18 months.

“For employers they need to listen to the concerns of their employees and take stock of the impact that the macro-economic environment has on workers.

“Not every business can afford pay rises across the board. These businesses need to take time to really pay attention to what their employees say they’re looking for in an employer and do their best to meet their employees’ expectations,” he says.


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