Employment confidence bounced back strongly in Canterbury, to the highest levels in the country, but Taranaki remains in the doldrums, according to a bank survey.
Nationally, employment confidence is picking up as people feel more secure in their jobs, but the latest Westpac McDermott Miller survey shows confidence remained weak.
Nationally, the employment confidence index rose to 98.9 in the September 2012 quarter, up from 96.2 in the June 2012 quarter. While up a little, the index is still the second- lowest since the trough of the recession in mid- 2009.
Employment confidence in Canterbury bounced into optimism at almost 111 points on the index.
The Taranaki/Manawatu-Wanganui region is on 89.8, equal lowest with Waikato, though this is a slight improvement on the previous survey, which recorded a level of 86.3.
Canterbury is the only region to expect job opportunities to improve in the coming year, though the region's current and expected wage growth is not out of the ordinary.
More broadly, the survey suggested national wage inflation remained "pretty flat".
Wellington employment confidence improved to almost neutral levels, with a similar lift in the Bay of Plenty, after being two of the most downbeat regions six months ago.
"It may be that in both regions there is now the growing sense that the worst is over," Westpac economist Felix Delbruck said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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