Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


NZ employment confidence rises in 4Q, wary on wages

NZ employment confidence rises in fourth quarter, wary on wages

By Suze Metherell

Jan. 20 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand confidence rose in the final quarter of 2013 to its second highest reading in the last two years, but optimism about wage growth slumped to its lowest in 18 months.

The Westpac McDermott Milller Employment Confidence Index rose to 103.4 in the fourth quarter from 102.8 from the prior quarter, in the scale where 100 separates optimists from pessimists.

While the latest index remains at the second highest level in the past two years, the reading remains subdued with on-going concern around labour market conditions and earnings growth, Westpac said.

“The relatively low level of the index fits with the observation that while the New Zealand economy was gathering a substantial head of steam over 2013 it had yet to reach its full capacity,” the report said.

Much of the negative feeling was seen in wage growth, with the net percentage of expected earnings to increase over the next year fell to a 29 percent, the lowest since June 2012, from a 33 percent in the September quarter. The report attributes low wage growth to continuing depressed inflation.

The tentative rise indicates that pressures on jobseekers are easing. This confidence combined with other indicators such as reported greater hiring or hiring intention, a 15 percent increase in online job advertisements on a year earlier and jobseeker support benefits falling 5 percent, gives weight to the prediction that the unemployment rate will drop below the post-recession range of 6 to 7 percent range in 2014,Westpac said.

“The net percentage of people saying that jobs are easy rather than hard to get rose by five points to – 47 percent. This was the least negative reading since December 2008,” the report said. That “supports our view that the unemployment rate should nudge a bit lower in the December quarter, from its previous outturn of 6.2 percent.”

Employment confidence was not widespread across the nation, with continuing declines in the rural regions, while the three main centres gain. Canterbury continues to lead other regions with employment confidence advancing to 115 from 113.1. Wellington confidence jumped up 7.7 percentage points 104, indicating optimism now outweighed pessimism having previously been the most negative region.

The rise in confidence was focused in middle-income groups, those earning between $30,000 to $70,000. Confidence rose for those aged 30 to 50, while the under-30s felt pessimistic about future employment options.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news