Employment confidence has fallen for the fourth consecutive quarter due to households becoming more gloomy about the labour market.
The Westpac-McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index fell to 96.2 in the June quarter, down nearly 3 points from the previous quarter.
A figure below 100 indicates pessimists outnumber optimists, and the latest figures are close to 2008's recession levels.
Westpac senior economist Felix Delbruck says the survey sends a clear message economic growth is not translating into an improving labour market.
And he says the survey also indicates wages are unlikely to rise soon.
Mr Delbruck says the Canterbury region had some of the the lowest reported and expected wage growth in the country.
"That's surprising because we know that there's growing demand for construction-related jobs in the region. We also know that Cantabrians themselves are feeling increasingly optimistic for the local economy."