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Permanent Hiring Expectations: South Island

Key Findings

  • Four out of ten employers intend to keep headcount steady
  • More than half of employers (55.3%) have positive hiring intentions
  • Construction/Property/Engineering is the most positive industry in the South Island (72.2%), followed by Manufacturing & Industrial (62.5%) and Government (56.1%).
  • While positive hiring intentions across Manufacturing & Industrial and Government employers have increased by 9.7pp and 8.0pp respectively, positive hiring expectations in Construction/Property/Engineering in the South Island has dropped 7.1pp this quarter.


  • Economic activity in Canterbury remains disrupted. Electronic card transactions suggest spending has only just reattained pre-quake levels. However since mid-2011, Canterbury has been the fastest growing region of New Zealand.24 The quake has also caused considerable disruption to the tourism sector, although the region’s other export industries have been largely unaffected. The value of goods being shipped through Lyttleton is now well higher than it was before the earthquakes.25

    While employment has declined in Canterbury (which is at odds with many anecdotes) there are encouraging signs. Construction data shows a strong increase in building activity and the robust increase in residential and non-residential consents suggests that rebuilding activity will build momentum over the coming year.26

    The release of the Christchurch Central Development Unit plan for the Christchurch CBD has provided more certainty around resources and time frames around the rebuild, so many initial projections have been updated and are more realistic.

    The public sector is going through an interesting time in the region as organisations are required to keep up their business as usual activities whilst also building resource to supplement rebuild activities. This has seen the use of contract resource in order to quickly increase their capability across a variety of different role types including administration, finance and project management skill sets.

    24, 25, Rebuilding a city, an update on developments in Canterbury, viewed 16 September 2012.
    26 ASB The Main Report, June 2012 Quarter, viewed 15 September 2012.


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