Coronavirus: One in 14 expect to lose their jobs or business by the middle of next year - survey

Workers are worried about their employment security, with about one in 14 expecting to lose their jobs or business by the middle of next year, Statistics New Zealand has found.

Another 185,000 people surveyed felt there was a high chance of losing their job in the next 12 months.

The Stats NZ poll shows another 18 percent felt there was a medium chance of being jobless in 12 months.

Stats NZ labour market statistics manager Andrew Neal said people are more anxious about their jobs in COVID-19 alert level 2 as opposed to level 1.

"Temporary workers felt most at risk of losing their job over the following year, with 1 in 5 feeling it was almost certain or highly likely they would lose their short-term job before it was due to end," he said.

New Zealand came out of its original COVID-19 lockdown earlier than expected but renewed community transmission in Auckland last month saw the economy take another hit and enter a second lockdown. Neal said people who had just started their jobs felt more at risk.

"There may be a feeling out there that layoffs will occur by last in, first out," he said.

The Stats NZ figures show one in 10 of those working in transport, postal, and warehousing reported having low job security.

Low job security was also reported by nine percent of those in the retail, accommodation, and food sectors.

Business NZ chief executive Kirk Hope.
Business NZ chief executive Kirk Hope. Photo credit: The AM Show

"Around 6000 people working in travel agent services reported low job security. Travel agent jobs are categorised within the professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services industry group, in which 1 in 11 workers expect to lose their job over the coming year," Stats NZ said.

Business NZ chief executive Kirk Hope last week spoke of the challenges businesses face when the COVID-19 wage subsidy comes to an end. Thursday was the final day companies could make applications for the Government subsidy, which paid $585.80 per week for full-time staff and $350 for part-time staff.

"They may need some broader, sector-specific support and I know the industry organisations that represent them have been working with the Government to talk to them about what they might need by way of grants or additional borrowing," Hope told Newshub.

"Of course, they have had not just one national lockdown, but then the secondary impact of alert level 3 again for a couple of weeks in Auckland," he added.

He said he hoped there might be other ways the Government can assist businesses.