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Optimism permeates New Zealand labour market

Optimism permeates New Zealand labour market

Posted on 12th January 2017 by Russell Phillips

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The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose 2.6 points in the December quarter to 112.7.

“New Zealanders have become more optimistic about the state of the labour market,” said Westpac Acting Chief Economist Michael Gordon. “This comes against a backdrop of strong economic growth that has seen job opportunities continuing to increase.”

“Increases in employment confidence have been broad-based,” said Mr Gordon. “The largest gains have been seen in the regions, with the improved outlook for the dairy sector a likely factor that has supported confidence in the labour market and economy more generally.”

“While workers are more optimistic about their employment prospects, they’re still concerned about earnings growth,” noted Mr Gordon. “This will be an important issue for the economy over 2017. Consumer price inflation is set to rise, and this could erode households’ purchasing power.”

“Employment optimism among working New Zealanders consolidated further in the December quarter of 2016,” announced Richard Miller, Managing Director, McDermott Miller Limited. The Westpac McDermott Miller New Zealand Employment Confidence Index now stands at 112.7, up 2.6 index points since September 2016 and 10.1 points since December 2015.

“The lift in employment confidence is widespread,” observed Richard Miller. “Both private and public sector workers surveyed are optimistic about the employment situation in New Zealand, with Employment Confidence indices of 110.5 and 115.1 respectively. Hitherto, public sector workers have tended to be sceptical about employment prospects,” he noted.

“Taken together, the positive December quarter results of the Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Survey and Employment Confidence Survey indicate growing optimism among New Zealanders that the outlook for the New Zealand economy is improving,” concluded Richard Miller.

Source: Voxy NZ