Employment confidence is picking up as people feel more secure in their jobs, but the latest Westpac McDermott Miller survey shows confidence remains weak.
The employment confidence index rose to 98.9 in the September 2012 quarter, up from 96.2 in the June 2012 quarter.
Westpac Chief Economist Dominick Stephens said: "On the plus side, people feel a lot more secure in their jobs than three months ago.
"There may be a sense that the storm clouds around the economy have lifted a little."
But perceptions of overall job opportunities continue to be very downbeat, he said.
Recent news around jobs has been poor, including another disappointing June quarter employment report, said Stephens.
In the June quarter, the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.8 per cent.
"People also speak from experience, and their continued pessimism about job opportunities suggests that unemployment remained high through the September quarter."
"Employment confidence in Canterbury has bounced back and once again clearly leads the rest of the country, with Cantabrians notably more upbeat about future job opportunities," said Stephens.
"This is another sign that the economy is becoming increasingly 'two-speed'. "
However, despite growing demand for reconstruction-related work, today's survey suggests that wage pressures remain fairly subdued.