Quarterly hiring outlook positive but flat

Last updated 14:11 11/12/2012

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Kiwis hunting for work in the New Year are likely to still find a receptive job market, with the flow-on effects from the Christchurch rebuild boosting demand for skills in other parts of the country - particularly Wellington.

The results from the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey show a net +16 per cent of employers are looking to grow their staff numbers in the first three months of next year.

That's based on 25 per cent of respondents saying they plan to hire, 10 per cent saying they plan to cut head counts, and 64 per cent keeping staffing levels stable.

The result is about two percentage points weaker than the previous outlook for the three months to December, but on par with where it was at the same time last year.

The report found anticipation of the rebuild in Christchurch was boosting employment confidence in other parts of the country as materials providers geared up for higher demand.

That was particularly evident in Wellington, with the hiring outlook coming in at a net +17 per cent, up 2 per cent compared with the previous quarter, and 16 per cent compared with 12 months ago.

In addition to a boot in construction "employers in the transport and utilities, manufacturing, and services sectors in Auckland and Wellington are seeing a good pipeline of jobs from the flow-on work of the rebuild", said Lincoln Crawley, managing director of Manpower Group in Australia and New Zealand.

Somewhat ironically, the ongoing delays in the rebuild have seen Christchurch employers trim their hiring expectations, with a net +13 per cent looking to increase their head counts, down 10 per cent compared with the December quarter, and down 10 per cent versus a year ago.

Auckland showed a minor reversal in hiring confidence, with a net +16 per cent of employers looking to hire in the New Year, down 1 per cent on both a quarterly and annual basis.

The effects of the rebuild were also reflected in the skills breakdown, with mining and construction skills still highly in demand at a net +36 per cent, down 2 per cent on the quarter but up 24 per cent on the year.

That was followed by services skills at a net +25 per cent, and transport and utilities at a net +23 per cent.

Finance, insurance and real estate skills came in at a net +19 per cent, but notably were up 11 per cent on the quarter and 26 per cent on the year.

Public administration and education skills ranked as the least in demand with a net +2 per cent, down 8 per cent on the quarter and 5 per cent on the year, which Crawley attributed to government spending cutbacks amid concerns the rebuild repair bill could blowout further.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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