New Zealand's employment confidence rises but job prospects dimming

Wellington, Jan 23 (IANS) Even as New Zealand’s employment confidence rose in the December quarter, job prospects are dimming, a survey said on Tuesday.

As per Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index (ECI), finding and holding a job remain the biggest concerns for New Zealanders, Xinhua news agency reported.

Perceptions about job availability continued to fall in the December quarter, which likely reflects both the decline in vacancies and increased competition for those roles as net inward migration has surged, said Westpac Senior Economist Michael Gordon.

The ECI rose by 1.4 points to 99.7 in the December quarter, which remained down substantially from its peak of 115.2 in the September quarter of 2022. An index number of over 100 indicates that optimists outnumber pessimists.

The rise in the ECI this quarter was largely due to a pickup in households’ earnings growth over the past year after some very weak readings in the previous two quarters, Gordon said.

“We suspect that households remain mindful of the rising cost of living,” he said, adding even those who have managed to secure large pay rises may still feel that they are struggling to get ahead.

Confidence amongst employees working in the public sector remains stable, and private sector employees have seen a small rise in confidence from last quarter, the survey showed.

The survey was conducted in December 2023, with a sample size of 1,550.



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