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Employers hopeful to hire in 2011

Employers hopeful to hire in 2011 - still uncertain: Roundup survey

Employers are hopeful they will be hiring more staff next year, and increase training and wages, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for the Employers & Manufacturers Association.

The views are drawn from EMA's Annual Employment Round Up survey (see attached for full results).

"Over half of employers say they will either be definitely hiring more staff or probably will," Mr Lowe said.

"17 per cent are definite, and 35 per cent say probably.

"More people got wage increases this year than in 2009 - last year 51 per cent of respondents reported they gave a zero wage increase whereas this year only 11 per cent did not increase wages.

"However the optimism for next year is tinged with a lot of uncertainty - 30 to 40 per cent of responses indicated they were still unsure about hiring, redundancies, training, wage increases or the growth of their businesses.

"But on balance significantly more employers are positive about 2011 than negative.

"Employers report the most important issues next year will be looking for skilled people, and improvements to productivity and efficiency. Just 11 per cent definitely or probably will be looking at making people redundant.

"So though job security should improve in 2011, all the workforce will be asked to remain flexible, and open to change.

"Half of employers in the survey have decided to use the 90 day trial periods when they become available in April; eight per cent have decided not to. The others are still considering their options.

"Of the smaller businesses that have had access to trial periods since March 2009 half of employers use them; 87 per cent of these have not terminated anyone under a trial term of employment.

"Whereas employers believe the recent employment law changes will assist their businesses and are satisfied with them as far as they go, the survey clearly shows there is an appetite for more change yet.

"This year we asked employers about their approach to the personal use of the internet at work. Many employers have policies covering this but many others take a relaxed approach and deal with situations as they arise on a case-by-case basis.

"Virtually all businesses in the survey have websites.

"Fifty per cent of employers use Facebook and other social media for work related purposes. Given this survey addresses HR issues, we have assumed they are often used to get more information about staff and prospective staff.

"Overall, wage increases are well down from previous years as would be expected. Collective bargaining settlements averaged 2.1%.

"There has been a marked shift from one year collective agreements to two years; likely to remove the threat of strike action in Rugby World Cup year.

"Good news for employees is that employers say they rarely if ever replace employees who leave with a person on lower wages than the one who left."

ENDS

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