A recruitment company says business sentiment is at its highest since 2008 and more employers are looking to take on permanent staff.
More than 1000 employers were interviewed for the quarterly report by the country's largest recruitment firm, Hudson.
Executive managing director Marc Burrage says the report finds that while the economy remains subdued, the labour market is showing signs of recovery.
He says one in four employers is looking to increase permanent staffing this quarter.
The report also identifies the IT sector as the most confident industry, with more than half of employers intending to increase staffing levels.
Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) chief executive Alasdair Thompson says the improvement is welcome but is only an indicator at this stage.
Business New Zealand says hopefully the intentions indicated in the report will turn into actual employment.