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Jobs easier to find but New Zealanders still cautious about prospects: survey

Xinhua English


WELLINGTON, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose 1.8 points in the September quarter to a level of 105.7, 2.9 points higher than the number at the end of 2019 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Gordon, the acting chief economist for Westpac, noted on Saturday that the increase was driven by another strong lift in people's perceptions of current job openings. "Even with the latest lockdown, employers are aware of the severe skill shortages that have developed in recent times and have remained in hiring mode."

"Expectations for earnings growth and perceptions about job security were down in September, but only marginally," noted Gordon. "That's notable as the survey was held during a time of higher Covid Alert Levels. This indicates that workers remain optimistic about the outlook for economic conditions and the demand for labor."

"Confidence amongst employees working in the public sector has risen this quarter (an increase of 6.1 points to 110.0), after a drop in the previous quarter. This compares with private sector employees whose confidence has remained almost unchanged from last quarter (a drop of 0.8 points to 104.2)," observed Imogen Rendall, Market Research Director of McDermott Miller Limited.

"Concerns over job security and a more cautious view of future earnings appear to be impacting confidence of those in the private sector, while those in the public sector see the current and future job market in a more positive light," commented Rendall. Enditem