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Employment confidence up for a fifth consecutive quarter

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose by 1.5 points to 117.4 in June. That was the fifth consecutive gain and takes New Zealanders’ confidence in the state of the labour market to its highest level since 2008.

"New Zealand is now into its eighth year of continued expansion, and the unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level in a decade," said Westpac Chief Economist Dominick Stephens. "This firmness in economic activity has seen households reporting increased job opportunities. They are also feeling more secure in their jobs."

"However, households are telling us that they think job openings will get a little harder to find over the coming year," noted Mr Stephens. "This easing has been modest to date, but it comes atop of other signs that economic growth is slowing. It adds to indications that the unemployment rate may struggle to push lower from here."

"Earnings growth remains a soft spot for the labour market," said Mr Stephens. "Despite an extended period of firm economic growth, the number of households who expect their earnings to rise over the coming year remains low."

"The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index for New Zealand continued to rise in the June 2018 quarter," announced Richard Miller, Managing Director of McDermott Miller Limited. "The Index now stands at 117.4, up 1.5 index points from the March quarter and up 4 points from this time last year."

"Respondents employed in the private sector are more optimistic about New Zealand’s current employment situation than their public sector counterparts," observed Richard Miller. "In particular, more private sector respondents believe that ‘jobs currently are plentiful’ than do their public sector counterparts (private sector 119.2 compared with public sector 115.3) on the Employment Confidence Index," he concluded.

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