Job advertisements, both in newspapers and online, have confirmed data already released this week showing demand for workers is strong and employment confidence is high.
The ANZ Job Ads series, released yesterday, showed continued gains in job advertisements pointing to strengthening employment, ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said.
Job advertisements lifted a further 1.1% in December, the fourth consecutive monthly rise of more than 1% and the first time it had happened since early 2011.
Total job advertising was up 2.8% on a year ago, on a three-month average. Internet job advertising rose 0.7% in December, on top of solid increases in the preceding three months. Newspaper job advertising lifted 5.1% in December on top of a 12.1% increase in November.
“The lift in jobs ads in recent months reflects a broad-based acceleration in the economy in the second half of last year. Weak growth stalled firms’ appetite to employ over much of 2105. Stronger growth is now clearly encouraging firms to hire, a good sign for growth becoming more self-sustaining,” Ms Zollner said.
ANZ expected the unemployment rate to ease this year, subject to the normal caveat that growth prospects are unpredictable, especially given current global wobbles, particularly in China.
Earlier this week, the Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index bounced back in the three months ending December to 101.5 and South Island confidence was particularly strong.
New Zealanders had become more upbeat about employment conditions, their own job security and earnings growth prospects. The Hudson Report indicated demand for talented workers was at a six-year high as the job market continued to surge.
More than 92% of surveyed employers were preparing to increase or maintain their workforce numbers in the first half of the year. The only downside was the number of workers not expected to receive a pay rise this year.