Hiring sentiment is at its highest level in five years as an increasing number of employers look to grow their teams in 2015, according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends findings.
A net 28.1% of employers across the country intend to increase permanent staff numbers in the first quarter of the year, up four percentage points (pp) compared to the previous quarter, and up 6.2pp compared to the same time last year.
This result is largely being driven by rising expectations in the Upper North Island where employer sentiment has steadily increased over the past 12 months, up 7.9pp since the beginning of the year.
“The Canterbury re-build continues to be a strong force in driving growth,” says Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand.
“More generally, the balance of economic indicators in 2014 has set us up for a stronger, more consistent year ahead and we expect the current levels of optimism and hiring to hold steady in 2015.”
At 5.4%, the unemployment rate continues to fall, and with net migration on the rise, the Hudson Report also provides plenty to smile about for employees.
“We can expect to see skills shortages start to bite, resulting in a greater use of temporary and contract workforce and creating pressure on salary and wages,” Rogers adds.
“This is great news for jobseekers and employees looking for more flexibility in their working conditions or to meet their salary goals.”
Hiring intentions by region
Net hiring sentiment in the South Island remains the strongest nationally, with a net 42.2% of employers intending to increase headcount, up 8.6pp compared to the previous quarter.
“The Canterbury re-build continues to drive employment demand and this quarter has seen a significant increase in investment in commercial buildings and large amounts of residential subdivisions being developed,” Rogers adds.
“Overall, hiring intentions are tending to fluctuate and this is related to the staggered hiring requirements that come with large tenders being won in the market, project milestones being reached and the fact that many organisations oscillate between using in-house resource and consultancies to meet demand.”
Meanwhile employer sentiment in Upper North Island continues to gain momentum, with a net 26.5% of employers intending to increase head count while net sentiment in Lower North Island remains steady-as-she-goes, dropping 1.4pp, with a net 17.6% of employers looking to increase headcount this quarter.