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New Zealand employment opportunities surge to pre-recession levels

According to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, hiring activity in New Zealand is expected to continue rising to pre-recession levels in the third quarter.

The survey of over 630 New Zealand employers finds the seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook is at +18%, up 5% from the last quarter.

Job opportunities are set to be highest in the Manufacturing and Services industry sectors.

Lincoln Crawley, Managing Director, Manpower Australia & New Zealand, says the news is likely to get better for job seekers.

‘Hiring optimism for the coming quarter is at the strongest level seen in two years, with many signs pointing to a gradual return to a pre-crisis hiring pace. In this kind of market, job seekers and employers still need to be patient. It’s not going to be a quick return to boom times’, Mr Crawley said.

Mr Crawley said the employment market is growing sustainably and at a manageable pace.

‘Employers are showing responsible levels of optimism. The fact is that we don’t want to see things ramp up too quickly – no one wants to see a wages breakout that has the potential to push up inflation and interest rates.’

Across industry sectors, the Manufacturing and Services employers are the most optimistic, with Manufacturing at +24% and Services at +23% . Less happily, the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector (at +19%, compared to +31% in Q2) and Mining & Construction sector (at +17%, down from +24% last quarter) have seen drops in employer optimism.

As the unemployment rate begins to fall, Mr Crawley continues to warn employers that skills shortages are on their way back.

‘New Zealand, like many other parts of the world, is facing chronic skills shortages in several industries, some of which didn’t disappear even during recession. Employers in these areas need to start building new strategies that allow them to cope with these shortages for the long term.

‘Reskilling and upskilling existing employees and new hires, and looking for candidates outside traditional skill fields is going to become increasingly necessary. The last thing we want to see is the New Zealand recovery hindered by an inability to fill positions in key industries’, said Mr Crawley.

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