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Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence December 2019

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealanders have become a little more optimistic about the labour market, according to the latest Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence survey.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose 1.8 points in the December quarter to a level of 102.8. A level of over 100 indicates that optimists outnumber pessimists.

"The past year saw wage growth picking up to a ten-year high and increasing numbers of New Zealanders expect that their own earnings will increase over 2020," noted Westpac’s Chief Economist Dominick Stephens.

"However, households remain very downbeat about their chances of finding a new job," noted Mr Stephens. "A growing number of households are also noting concerns about their job security. That comes at the same time as we’re seeing signs that jobs growth in the economy is slowing."

"Employment confidence in the December 2019 quarter lifted slightly to 102.8 on the Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Index (ECI)," announced Richard Miller, Managing Director, McDermott Miller Ltd. "Nevertheless, Employment Confidence is far less optimistic than this time last year when it registered 121.3."

"This slight quarterly lift in confidence stems largely from a recovery in confidence among respondents on Metropolitan Centres (up 4.5 to 106.4)," observed Miller. "In contrast, both Secondary Centre and Rural respondents became less optimistic, respectively down 1.8 to 99.0 and 2.0 to 99.8," noted Mr Miller.

"Interestingly, employees working in the Public Sector dipped a little in confidence (ECI down 1.6 from 109.4), but remain firmly optimistic at 107.8. In contrast their counterparts in the Private Sector have regained a degree of optimism (ECI up 3.5 from 98.3 to 101.8)," Miller concluded.

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