Employer hiring activity is expected to climb back to a pre-recession pace in the third quarter, according to the latest Manpower employment outlook survey.
The survey found that the manufacturing and services industry sectors, which includes IT, is expected to grow the most in the quarter.
Manufacturing and services employers are the most optimistic, with manufacturing at 24 percent compared to 20 percent in Q2 and services at 23 percent compared to 14 percent last quarter.
The survey interviewed 630 local employers. The number of employers planning to increase hiring has dropped slightly from 22 percent compared to 23 percent in Q2, while the number of employers planning to decrease headcount is at 7 percent compared to 6 percent last quarter.
According to Manpower NZ managing director Lincoln Crawley, the news will get better for job seekers.
“Hiring optimism for the coming quarter is at the strongest level seen in two years, with many signs pointing to a gradual return to a pre-crisis hiring pace. In this kind of market, job seekers and employers still need to be patient. It’s not going to be a quick return to boom times.”
Crawley says the employment market is growing sustainably.
“Employers are showing responsible levels of optimism. The fact is that we don’t want to see things ramp up too quickly – no one wants to see a wages breakout that has the potential to push up inflation and interest rates.”
He adds that employers across all local regions have seen a slight increase in hiring optimism, with those in Auckland and Christchurch reporting improvements of 4 percentage points to 19 and 16 percent. Wellington gained 1 percentage point, also up to 19 percent.
As the unemployment rate begins to fall, Crawley says that skills shortages are on their way back.
“Reskilling and upskilling existing employees and new hires, and looking for candidates outside traditional skill fields is going to become increasingly necessary. The last thing we want to see is the New Zealand recovery hindered by an inability to fill positions in key industries,” he says.