27 Jun 2016

Workers pessimistic about job prospects

2:21 pm on 27 June 2016

Workers are feeling more pessimistic as they wonder how safe they are in their jobs.

Magnifying glass on job ads.

Photo: 123RF

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index has fallen 3.3 points in the June quarter to 101.5, when compared with the March quarter.

A reading over 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists.

The fall in the index was driven by a decline in workers' expectations about their job security, which is now at its lowest level since late 2012.

Confidence fell in most regions, with the biggest falls in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay, while Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu and Whanganui rose.

Westpac senior economist Anne Boniface said rising property prices could be a factor.

"We're now seeing strong house-price growth across a large swath of New Zealand and that is likely to be improving confidence across the regions," she said.

But strong migration could be causing some nerves for workers.

"We are sort of seeing very strong net migration population growth at the moment ... so that's boosting the number of people in the labour force and probably leading to strong competition for jobs out there."

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