Employment confidence in Kiwis falls for the first time since 2020

It's the first fall in confidence since the 2020 lockdown.
It's the first fall in confidence since the 2020 lockdown. Photo credit: Getty Images

There's been a fall in employment confidence for the first time since Aotearoa's 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, the latest figures from Westpac have revealed.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index fell five points in the June quarter to a level of 108.5.

Westpac acting chief economist Michael Gordon said job opportunities in Aotearoa remain the strong point of the index - the only component to record a rise, it went up 5.5 points to 25.9.

"Job vacancies continue to rise and businesses are finding it even harder to retain or replace workers as the international border has reopened."

Employment confidence saw a five-point drop from 113.5 points in the March quarter to 108.5 in the June quarter.

"Overall, employment confidence has held up at a reasonably high level," Gordon said.

"That's in stark contrast with the consumer confidence results released earlier this week, which fell to the lowest in the history of the survey going back to 1988," Gordon added. 

He said the results show the risk of recession is playing on some Kiwi's minds, but it's the cost-of-living "squeeze that is doing the most damage to confidence".

Confidence in those working in the public sector has seen a "considerable drop" this quarter -  down 17.9 points to 110.3.

Whereas confidence in employees in the private sector remains level with the last quarter at 106.4. 

"Both private and public sector employees are concerned about future job opportunities, while public sector employees are now much more cautious about their personal job security over the coming year compared with last quarter’s results," said McDermott Miller market research director Imogen Rendall.

She said confidence in men and those aged 30 to 49 remain positive but the drop in confidence shows there are concerns about what the future holds. 

"When looking across the different demographic groups, some big drops in confidence have been seen amongst men (down 11.2 points to 108.9) and amongst those aged 30 to 49 years (down 10.5 points to 105.6)."