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New data shows employer hiring plans in NZ still on the rise

New data shows employer hiring plans in New Zealand still on the rise

ManpowerGroup advises companies to focus on their talent strategy

11 March 2014 - Hiring in New Zealand is expected to continue its upward trajectory in the second quarter of the year, according to the latest results from the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. Hiring intentions across the country have increased by 6 percentage points to a Net Employment Outlook of +27%.

The survey, which asks 650 New Zealand employers about their hiring plans for the coming quarter, has found that 33 per cent of employers plan to increase hiring in Q2 this year, 4 percent plan to decrease and 62 per cent will make no change. The resulting Outlook of +27% is the strongest reported by New Zealand’s employers in nearly seven years.

“The Q2 results are aligned with a number of recent economic forecasts across NZ that demonstrate increasing business confidence across all major industries and geographies for 2014,” said Lincoln Crawley, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand said.

“The Christchurch rebuild has gained substantial momentum and a number of major civil, residential and infrastructure projects are coming on line nationally, all of which is driving hiring in Mining & Construction and the wider market. The results show the hiring Outlook in Mining and Construction is at +47%, the strongest Outlook on record,” he said.

“In particular, ManpowerGroup highlighted that demand for structural, geotechnical engineers, commercial and residential construction project managers, quantity surveyors and all skilled trades is high,” he added.

Mr Crawley said following a 16 month expansion in New Zealand’s Manufacturing sector, demand for workers has started to ramp up.

“Despite the high NZ dollar and exchange rate with Australia, demand is high for construction materials, with future projections remaining positive in both domestic and international markets. This is driving an increasing need for high-skilled machine operators, trades and Research & Development engineers and specialists in the field,” he said.

“As the demand for talent in NZ heats up, employers need to bring their talent strategy to the forefront of business planning,” Mr Crawley suggested. ”Employers need to start planning for the talent they will need in Q2 and Q3 this year now.

“Will talent be developed from within the organisations through increased focus on Learning and Development? Will they require more agility through the utilisation of pools of skilled contingent labour? Or will they require a strategy around global talent attraction?”

“Whatever the strategy, building a talent pipeline takes time and should be a key business focus in a talent short market,” Mr Crawley said.

Across the regions, employers in Christchurch and Auckland reported an quarter-on-quarter increase in hiring intentions of 6 percentage points to a Net Employment Outlook of +27%. In Wellington, employers expect a slight rise in Outlook of 2 percentage points quarter-on-quarter to +24%

Across the sectors, Mining and Construction employers expect to see a considerable increase in hiring. The Outlook of +47% represents an improvement of 19 percentage points in both a quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year comparison and is the most optimistic forecast reported by employers in the sector since New Zealand started the survey in 2004. Manufacturing hiring Outlook is expected to rise 13 percentage points to +25% quarter-on-quarter.

In Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, employers reported a 10 percentage increase from last quarter to an Outlook of +37%. Over the same period, Services and Transport and Utilities also both expect an increase hiring, with Outlook reported at +31% and +33% respectively.

Employers in Wholesale and Retail Trade expect a small drop in hiring intentions from last quarter, down 4 percentage points to +19%. In line with government cuts, Public Administration and Education hiring Outlook is expected to fall slightly to +12%.

Table 1. NZ Net Employment Outlook Comparison by Region

Q2 2014Quarter-on-Quarter

Table 2. NZ Net Employment Outlook Comparison by Sector

Q4 2013Quarter-on-quarter
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate+37%+10%+13%
Mining &
Transport & Utilities+33%+9%0%
Wholesale & Retail Trade+19%-4%-1%


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