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New Zealand – Workers now less confident in finding new jobs

22 July 2013

New Zealanders are less confident in their ability to find alternate employment in the current climate,an about-turn on attitudes held six months ago, according to the latest Randstad Workmonitor. At the end of 2012, 61% of Kiwis were looking to change roles in the New Year and felt relatively optimistic about their ability to find alternative employment.

The Randstad Mobility Index, which currently sits at 100, on par with Q2 2011, is also far lower than many other nations; with Britain and the USA both registering a 105 rating and Australia registering 111.

Increases were also apparent in Belgium (+7) and Greece (+6). New Zealand is joined by China (-8), Argentina (-8), Chile (-5), Switzerland (-5) and Slovakia (-5), in experiencing a drop in mobility.

Workers aged between 18-24 are the most confident, with this age group registering a score 12 points higher than the national average. Employees aged over 55 were the least optimistic, with this age group scoring 5 points below the New Zealand average (95).

Paul Robinson, Randstad’s New Zealand Director says: "While the mobility rating is similar to that of 2011, the factors behind the low score are significantly different than they were two years ago. Our research shows New Zealanders are suffering a lack of confidence and trust in securing another job, with more than three quarters (76%) of Kiwis also saying they are likely to settle for roles below their education level.

"People are sitting tight in their current roles and working harder than ever to prove their worth, resulting in less mobility in the market. The outlook in the last quarter of 2012 was overwhelmingly positive with almost two thirds of Kiwis confident they could find comparable employment, which is significantly different to this quarter’s findings. When the economy shows signs of instability, we generally see reduced confidence and worker mobility and it’s natural in times of uncertainty for workers to tread a cautious path and stick with what they know. During this time business leaders should also be aware that passive job seeking in the local market will be apparent, meaning there will be employees not actively job seeking, but interested in knowing more about relevant positions," Robinson added.

Along with this lack of faith in finding a comparable job, the Randstad Mobility Index shows a growing number of New Zealanders are feeling insecure in their current job. Two thirds of Kiwis (66%) believe job security no longer exists in the current market, and this diminishing sense of job security is being felt most amongst younger workers.

Despite these findings, Kiwis enjoy a greater sense of job security than many counterparts within the Asia Pacific region. In Hong Kong 85% of workers believe there is no such thing as job security, while 71% of Singaporean workers and 70% of Chinese employees also believe the notion of security has faded.

"It’s interesting to compare New Zealand’s results to our closest neighbours in Australia, who are equally as insecure in their current roles, yet they have confidence in their ability to find an alternative position in the short-term," concludes Robinson.

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