Workers feeling more 'pessimistic'


Kiwi workers are feeling a little more downbeat about their job prospects according to a survey by Westpac.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index fell 3.3 points in the three months to June, reversing gains made earlier in the year.

Westpac Chief Economist Dominick Stephens said: "There has been a broad based decline in employment confidence this quarter, with workers feeling gloomier about both current and future labour market prospects."

The survey finds that workers' perceptions of their own job security have deteriorated sharply, which went against recent employment data. 

"June's broad-based decline in employment confidence is perhaps a little surprising when considered against a range of other labour market indicators," the survey says.

"Job ads and vacancy measures have continued to trend higher. And there was very strong jobs growth in the most recent official employment statistics."

The study said one interpretation could be that it reflects the different ways workers and businesses are faring at the moment. GDP has been bolstered by population growth, with more people adding to the demand for goods and services

However, while the size of the economic "pie" has grown, workers' slice of that pie has hardly grown at all. More people are competing for jobs, which keeps a lid on wage inflation.

Confidence fell in most regions with the biggest declines recorded in Gisborne/Hawkes Bay. 

The Waikato and Taranaki/Manawatu regions were exceptions with a rise in confidence. The survey noted this was surprising given the importance of the dairy industry in those regions.


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