Employment confidence nationwide has plummeted to its lowest level in more than two years, the latest quarterly Westpac McDermott Miller employment confidence index shows.
The index fell 4.7 points to 99.6 in the December quarter. A score below 100 indicates pessimism.
McDermott Miller managing director Richard Miller says Auckland, Canterbury, and Southland were the only main centres which remained optimistic at the end of last year.
He says this national pessimism may lead to a drop in consumer spending.
Mr Miller says pessimism was highest among public sector employees, anxious about job security under the current government.
Of all the metropolitan centres, Canterbury is the most optimistic about job prospects - despite the area being hit by thousands of earthquakes since September 2010.
Mr Richard Miller that may seem counter-intuitive but actually makes sense.
He says the people still remaining in Christchurch most likely have jobs and can see the city's rebuild approaching.