The New Zealand economy still seems to be bucking the global trend. Although some of the sparkle has faded from the ‘rock star’ status of a couple of years ago, the economy is still more buoyant than a lot of other OECD countries.
With a focus on the economy, according to Statistics New Zealand, the year 2014 experienced the highest rate of net immigration to our shores ever. The jump across the Tasman appears to be reversing with August seeing a net gain of 200 migrants from Australia, the highest gain in over 20 years. This suggests good news for the New Zealand economy with a positive impact and a reversal of the ‘brain drain’. Importantly, this trend conflicts with a predicted increase in IT jobs in Australia.
Most new and returning Kiwis seem to be heading for Auckland since it is perceived to be where the work is. This has added ‘fuel to the fire’ that is the booming Auckland housing market. The lowering of the official cash rate, by the Reserve Bank in September, translated to a reduction in mortgage rates by the high street banks. We can’t see how this can possibly extinguish the metaphorical flames. In fact, from what we are hearing, there is now a knock on effect in the regions surrounding Auckland namely, Northland, Waikato and as far away as the Bay of Plenty. Maybe the Baby Boomers are coming home to cash up their Auckland properties and roost in the provinces. It will be interesting to see how the minimum equity requirements, introduced in October, will impact property investors and the borrowing market. Watch this space.
Statistics New Zealand also identified wage increases within a small proportion of job positions in the recent quarter. In the year to March 2015, private sector salary and wage rates increased 1.8%, compared with 1.2% for the public sector. We have found that in the IT sector, wages have increased over the last few months and according to Staffing Analysis, the IT sector is looking at around a 3% annual wage increase for 2015. This has been reflected in MTR’s Salary Guides so contact us if you would like a copy.
The Auckland web development market remains strong with the highest demand continuing for C# developers with good communication skills. The drive to make websites adaptable and responsive to the differing screen sizes of hardware devices continues unabated. We have also noticed an increase in the use of anti-spamming services for websites. Products like Akismet are gaining in popularity and there is an increase in the use of modules such as CAPTCHA to counteract bot spamming. As I’m sure most of you are aware, Microsoft Windows 10 is slowly being rolled out to smaller business. Meanwhile, the larger corporates are only just recovering from rolling out Windows 7.