Sharechat Logo

NZ employment confidence slips in third quarter as expectations of job opportunities fall

Monday 30th September 2013

Text too small?

New Zealand employment confidence slipped in the third quarter, ending four consecutive quarterly rises, as expectations of job opportunities fell.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index dipped to 102.8 in the third quarter from 104.2 in the second quarter on a scale where 100 separates optimists from pessimists.

While the latest index reading remains the second-highest of the past two years, it underscores the slow and halting pace of improvement in the labour market in the years since the end of the recession, Westpac said. The latest results suggest improvements in labour market conditions are accruing more to those already in work than to those seeking work as wage growth and job security show the biggest lifts from their post-recession lows, while job opportunities remain slim.

In the latest quarter, the biggest decline was seen in confidence in current and expected job opportunities, partly reversing a sharp rise in the second quarter. Confidence in current job opportunities fell to a net -51.9 from -48.6 while confidence in expected job opportunities over the coming year slipped to a net -5.8 from -0.2.

The latest reading suggests the third quarter unemployment rate is unlikely to budge much from its previous reading of 6.4 percent, Westpac said.

In contrast, confidence in current and expected earnings growth picked up, while job security eased slightly but remained at a relatively positive level. Expected earnings growth showed the biggest advance, increasing to a net 32.6 from 29.9 in the second quarter.

The net percentage reporting higher earnings rose for the fifth straight quarter and was the highest since December 2011, Westpac said. Still, that is not yet reflected in official figures with the Labour Cost Index showing a slowdown in wage inflation over the last year, Westpac said.

Canterbury led other regions in employment confidence, advancing to 113.1 from 110.6 in the second quarter. It was briefly overtaken by Waikato last quarter as drought concerns eased.

Employment confidence rose in Northland and Southland, bringing both back into optimistic territory. Southland may have been buoyed by optimism about the future of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, Westpac said.

Meanwhile, Wellington was the most pessimistic region, declining 3.8 to a net 96.3, scoring low on job security and past earnings growth, Westpac said.

BusinessDesk.co.nz



  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comment:
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

MARKET CLOSE: Blue-chip stocks Meridian, A2 lead market lower
NZ dollar rises on Brexit hopes, rate cut reassessment
Three not failing, just needs a new owner - MediaWorks CEO
Major investors back new CBL class action targeting directors
Rip Curl purchase a done deal on Kathmandu proxies alone
Comvita chair Neil Craig eyes the exit once he finds a new CEO
Mercury raises guidance on increased storage, high spot prices
Eroad reports strong 3Q sales growth, eyes ASX listing
MediaWorks puts TV business on the block
NZ dollar benefits as preliminary Brexit deal improves risk appetite

IRG See IRG research reports