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Contracting pay-expectations stabilise but ...

Contracting pay-expectations stabilise but job availability low

Pay expectations have stabilised over the past six months according to new research in New Zealand’s contracting market.

The research, released by in their Professional Contracting Rates Guide, reveals pay expectations for 17 of the 22 recorded professions changed by less than 3%, indicating a stable market.

Contracting professions such as IT/Telecommunications (+0.7%), Marketing/PR (+0.4%), Engineering (-0.7%) and Accounting (+2.1%) were among those that experienced minimal changes to pay-expectations.

Simon Clarke, a contractor in software development, says despite the country still recovering from the recession, his pay has not decreased.

“I haven’t noticed any pay-rate reductions in my field….once the economy is in full-swing again, the IT field will be prosperous for contractors.”

However, while the survey reveals a stable market in regards to pay expectations, many contractors believe job availability is low.

James Shelton, a contractor in accounting, says he has struggled to find work recently.

“I have been finding it harder to get contract roles despite having the skills and experience to perform the role well,” he explains.

“Many people are taking roles lower than what they’re actually worth…I find myself competing with ex-CFO’s for senior roles I normally would have landed”

Another contractor, Dale Everiss, agrees that work has been harder to secure over the past six months.

“Normally it is quiet January to March…but it is now halfway through the year and I have only had one approach regarding a role.”

Tony Wai, managing director of Crackerjacks, predicts positive growth in the contracting market is on the horizon.

“I think we are heading towards a pick-up in the market and will start to see rates spike. Workloads will also increase significantly,” he says.

“The perceived excess of surplus contractors will be soaked up quickly as candidates move into permanent recruitment or take advantage of trans-Tasman opportunities.”

Five professions recorded notable changes (more than 3%) in expected pay-rates – Knowledge Management (+5.10%), Scientific (+3.20%), Sports/Events/Leisure (+18.8%) Retail (-3.10%) and Supply/Logistics/Operations (-5.5%).

The entire rates guide can be found at

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