Demand for workers remains strong

Last updated 13:49 10/06/2014

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Demand for finance workers has reached its highest level in nine years as overall hiring expectations remain strong, a survey shows.

Recruitment firm ManpowerGroup's latest Employment Outlook survey found a net 25 per cent of employers were looking to increase hiring in the third quarter of this year, down 1 per cent from the previous quarter.

The survey of more than 600 New Zealand employers found that a third plan to increase hiring, 7 per cent plan to decrease and 59 per cent expect no change.

All sectors reported more employers planning to increase hiring than decrease hiring.

Finance, insurance and real estate employers reported their strongest result since the second quarter of 2005, with a net 41 per cent expecting to increase hiring, the strongest of all sectors in the survey.

Employers in the transport and utilities sector reported an increase of 3 percentage points from the previous quarter to a net 37 per cent.

Employers in public administration and the wholesale and retail trade reported positive quarter-on-quarter increases, with a net 21 per cent and 20 per cent increase in hiring expectations respectively.

Mining and construction dropped 12 percentage points quarter on quarter, but the sector's employers maintain the third most positive outlook across all sectors at a net 35 per cent positive about hiring.

The outlook in the services and manufacturing sectors dropped 1 percentage point and 5 percentage points respectively.

ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand managing director Lincoln Crawley said access to skills was a major concern for New Zealand employers.

The positive employment outlook for the quarter could be attributed to the significant investment in infrastructure in Auckland and Christchurch, he said.

Crawley said Christchurch residential construction was well under way, but commercial construction was still in its infancy.

"This means the strong demand for workers in construction at all levels, from trade workers to project managers to engineers, will continue," he said.

"Sectors and businesses that feed into the construction industry, like manufacturing and transport and utilities, are also experiencing strong hiring outlooks."

Rising immigration, which recently reached an annual net gain of 34,000 permanent and long-term migrants, well above the long-term average of nearly 12,000 during the past 20 years, should help alleviate some of the skills shortages, Crawley said.

But higher immigration would also drive the need for more residential developments, he said.

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