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Employed More Confident, But 287,600 Think They Will Lose Their Jobs

The number of New Zealanders who are confident they will keep their jobs during the next 12 months has risen 8%.

46% of adults (18 years of age or over) believed, at the end of August, they would keep their jobs during the next year.

This was up from 38% in July.

However, around 7% of adults still think they will lose their jobs in the coming year.

This equates to around 287,600 adults, according to Horizon Research’s latest Employment Forecast Monitor.

Of these, 53,900 thought they would easily find another job while 233,700 felt it will be hard to find another.

The survey, undertaken between August 20 and 25, 2020, finds that:

  • 46%, equivalent to 1,639,400 adults (around 70% of the country’s adult workforce), think they will keep their current jobs (up from 28% or 1,377,000 when measured in July 2020)
  • 2%, equivalent to 86,300 people, think they will change jobs easily (with no significant change compared with July)
  • 5%, equivalent to 165,400 people, think they will change jobs with difficulty, down from 7% or 244,500 people in July.

In its 2020 Budget the Government cited Treasury forecasts which said unemployment could rise to 8.3% in the year to June 2020, with 297,000 people on the jobseeker benefit.

It was then projected to fall to 6.3% in 2021, with 246,000 on jobseeker benefits, and back to 4.2 per cent in 2022, with 202,000 people claiming jobseeker benefits.

Horizon Research’s all-adults Monitor includes those who do not qualify for the jobseeker benefit and finds 11% are currently unemployed (an estimated 384,700 adults) and not retired or unable to work. 0f these people, 312,800 believe that it will be hard to find a job.

Other key findings are:

  • Part time workers (currently employed for less than 30 hours per week) were less optimistic than full-timer workers (currently employed for 30 hours per week or more), and more expected to lose their jobs.
  • 79% of full-time workers expected to keep their current job (an estimated 1,158,700 employees) and 9% to lose their current job (an estimated 134,400 employees).
  • 54% of part-time workers expected to keep their current job (an estimated 480,700 employees) and 17% expected to lose theirs (an estimated 153,200 employees).

Sectors most and least concerned:

Horizon says the latest Monitor indicates there is rising confidence among those currently employed that jobs will be kept and changed with less difficulty.

Those in specialist trades (like plumbers, builders, and electricians) and in business and property services are 100% confident of keeping their jobs in the next 12 months.

Results for the following sub-groups of occupations are indicative only because of smaller sample sizes.

Indications are that the least confident are those in the accommodation sector, where 11% only expect to keep their jobs, sport and exercise (15%) and cultural and recreational services (40%).

In tourism, previously New Zealand’s biggest export earner but now with no international visitor custom, 55% of those still employed in the sector expect to keep their jobs in the next 12 months. In retail, another sector affected directly by lockdowns, 55% also expect to keep their jobs.

While 61% working in hospitality (bars, night clubs and entertainment) think they will keep their jobs, 39% think they will lose them and it will be hard to find another, the largest percentage for expected job loss for any of the 24 main sectors measured.


The August 2020 findings are from a poll of 1,300 respondents, taken between August 20 and 25, while Auckland was in COVID-19 Level 3 lockdown and the rest of the country was under Level 2 restrictions.

Overall, the survey is weighted by age, gender, personal income, highest education level, employment status and party vote at the 2017 election to ensure it represents the New Zealand adult population at the last census and general election. At a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error is ± 2.7%.

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