The latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for New Zealand has shown employers reporting conservative hiring plans for the second quarter of 2019. With 14 per cent of employers expecting to increase payrolls, five per cent anticipating a decrease and 80 per cent forecasting no change, the resulting Net Employment Outlook is +9 per cent.
Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the Outlook stands at +10 per cent. Hiring prospects decline by five percentage points when compared with the previous quarter and are two percentage points weaker in comparison with this time one year ago.
Participating employers are categorised into one of four organisation sizes: Micro businesses have less than 10 employees; Small businesses have 10-49 employees; Medium businesses have 50-249 employees; and Large businesses have 250 or more employees.
Employers in all four organisation size categories expect to increase payrolls during the coming quarter. Medium employers forecast the strongest hiring activity, reporting a Net Employment Outlook of +19 per cent. Elsewhere, Outlooks stand at +13 per cent and +11 per cent for Small- and Large-size employers, respectively, while Micro employers report a cautious Outlook of +1 per cent.
Large employers report a considerable decline of 13 percentage points when compared with the previous quarter, and Outlooks are nine and six percentage points weaker for Micro- and Medium-size employers, respectively. However, the Outlook for Small employers is unchanged.
When compared with this time one year ago, Large employers report a sharp decline of 23 percentage points, while the Outlook for Micro firms is four percentage points weaker. Meanwhile, Small employers report relatively stable hiring plans, and the Outlook for Medium employers improves by five percentage points.
Employers expect to add to payrolls in all three regions during the April-June period. Christchurch employers report the strongest hiring intentions with a Net Employment Outlook of +10 per cent, while Outlooks of +9 per cent are reported in both Auckland and Wellington.
In a quarter-over-quarter comparison, hiring prospects decline in all three regions. Christchurch employers report a decrease of eight percentage points, while Outlooks are seven and five percentage points weaker in Wellington and Auckland, respectively. Wellington employers report an improvement of four percentage points when compared with this time one year ago, but Outlooks are five and four percentage points weaker in Christchurch and Auckland, respectively.