Latest job advertising data suggests employers are thinking twice about hiring new staff, the ANZ says.
According to the bank's latest figures, seasonally-adjusted total job advertising fell 0.6 percent in June.
ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said it was the fourth month in a row that the figures had dropped.
"Annual growth in ad volumes is the lowest in five years."
She said the weakening demand for workers was consistent with the bank's recent survey of business confidence.
Employers were increasingly holding off on advertising positions as economic conditions became more difficult.
Ms Zollner expected unemployment to hover around the current rate of 5.8 percent for the rest of the year.
Of the three main centres, only Auckland had more total job ads than a year ago, up 7.6 percent.
Ms Zollner said weakening dairy prices had hurt employment prospects in some regions, especially Waikato where job ads were 11.1 percent lower than a year ago.