NZ Employment Market Update 2019

2 mins read
Recruitment Industry agency recruitment clients employment trends

Flexibility is still a hot topic. It remains candidates’ number one ‘wish list’ item and it’s interesting to see that in the latter half of the year, there’s been growth in the number of employees who enjoy flexible work conditions. Updated data from showed that 35% of employees received flexible working as a benefit, a two percent increase from April this year. The market is responding, will this grow further in 2020?

Here are the top 5 benefits received, as reported by employees:




Skill shortages are our new normal. We are closing out the year at the same low unemployment levels reported back in April: the official rate is 4.2%. Workforce participation is high, but the reality is that we simply don’t have enough talent in our local market to meet demand. Immigration New Zealand’s skill shortages lists are focused on delivering qualified international candidates, and new graduates are entering the market, but at least in the short term, competition for skilled candidates will endure.

Wage growth has not matched economic performance, so if you can demonstrate your ability to pay above market rates, or offer other incentives, you have leverage. Our data shows that it doesn’t necessarily take much, across industries and sectors, to entice people:


Technology innovation and automation are impacting business, but it’s happening slowly. While many people—including us—are excited about the possibilities that automation and AI can bring to our labour market, despite the occasional driverless car, big changes aren’t happening—yet. With organisations needing resources to review internal processes and research technology possibilities, technology is stimulating growth in headcount, not the other way around. At Madison we’ve been experimenting with a few recruitment technologies, with mixed results, and we know this is a common experience. The reality is, humans and human needs haven’t changed dramatically. The ‘old ways’ of doing things, such as focusing on gaining a deep understanding of business requirements, and offering great customer service— are still relevant.

If you’ve got any thoughts about the above topics, comment below, or feel free to email me.

As always, if your business is looking for recruitment services with a partnership approach, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Christian Brown
Chief Operating Officer - Madison and Absolute IT

A bit about me I began my career as a corporate lawyer in a large New Zealand private practice firm. Like many others before me, I ‘fell’ into the recruitment world in 2009.…

More about Christian

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