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New Zealand Workers Perceive The Economy As Worse Off Now Than It Was A Year Ago

Auckland, New Zealand 20 April 2022: New Zealand workers’ confidence in the economy has reached its lowest point on record according to the latest ELMO Employee Sentiment Index.

The proportion of workers rating the economy as ‘secure’ has fallen to just 14 per cent while the proportion of workers who rate it as ‘not secure’ has grown to 35 per cent. The ratings are considerably worse compared to the same period last year when 19 per cent of workers rated the economy as ‘secure’ while just 20 per cent rated it as ‘not secure’.

Although workers feel the economy is less secure than it was a year ago, nearly two thirds of workers (63%) anticipate they will receive a pay increase within the next year - the largest figure recorded to date. The expectations of a pay rise may be related to the proportion of workers who feel they are fairly remunerated for their work falling from 63 per cent last quarter to 59 per cent this quarter.

Concerns about economic security appear to be driven by international conflict and instability with 83 per cent of workers stating they’re worried global conflict will negatively impact their economic security. However, just 38 per cent are concerned that global conflict will impact their job security.

While workers are sceptical about the security of the economy, they are slightly more confident about their job security and that of their industry and organisation. More than half (56%) of workers rate their job as secure, 60 per cent consider their industry secure and 56 per cent rate their organisation as secure.

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The findings into workers’ perceptions of economic security and expectations for higher pay are some of the latest findings of the ELMO Employee Sentiment Index. The study is commissioned by ELMO Software and conducted by independent research firm Lonergan Research each quarter among more than 500 geographically dispersed working New Zealanders. The poll data is weighted to the latest Stats NZ data.

It seems the ‘Great Resignation’ may be tapering off among New Zealand workers. The proportion of workers who plan to actively search for a new job this year has fallen from 43 per cent last quarter to 39 per cent this quarter.

However, the slow down of the ‘Great Resignation’ doesn’t mean employers should expect employees to stick around long term. A third (33%) of workers expect they’ll stay in their current jobs for less than 18 months. A fifth (21%) expect they will be gone in less than 12 months.

ELMO Software CEO Danny Lessem says these insights are an opportunity for employers to engage with their workforce to learn more about their concerns and what they can do to address them to drive greater retention.

“Plummeting confidence in the economy makes it clear that workers aren’t being reassured that things will stabilise. Instead, they’re seeing rising living costs as inflationary pressures and global conflict erode their confidence in the economy.

“In this latest Employee Sentiment Index we have seen more workers than recorded before say they expect a pay rise.

“There’s some good news and bad news for employers in these latest insights. The good news is that the ‘Great Resignation’ has slowed down with fewer workers planning to search for a job this year than previously recorded. The bad news is a third of workers expect they’ll be out the door in the next 18 months.

“For employers they need to listen to the concerns of their employees and take stock of the impact that the macro-economic environment has on workers.

“Not every business can afford pay rises across the board. These businesses need to take time to really pay attention to what their employees say they’re looking for in an employer and do their best to meet their employees’ expectations.”

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