As we move into the second half of the year the economy seems to be maintaining the impetus experienced at the end of 2017. Although business confidence in the new government seems to be lower, there hasn’t been much in the recent budget to set alarms ringing. Time will tell. Salaries have increased again across the last year by between 3% and 4% in most industries. Job ads have also increased across the board throughout the year with SEEK reporting an 11.6% rise in advertised jobs in New Zealand during the month of April alone. Meanwhile immigration seems to be continuing apace which maintains pressure on housing, infrastructure and ultimately on rents.
Most Auckland based candidates still state travelling times as their primary consideration when considering a job. It is not uncommon for us to interview candidates from the North Shore who would voluntarily accept between 5% and 10% less salary per annum to work there.
It’s not all bad news, the new tunnel linking the North Western and South Western Motorways has had a positive impact on travelling times and on peak times in particular. There is now a distinct “ flow improvement window” especially around West Auckland, between the early rush of the 7.30 starters and the beginning of the school run. Nevertheless, location and flexibility of working hours remain the key factors in the choice of work location by IT workers. Proximity of work location to railway stations and busy bus routes is also becoming an important factor in job choice. The good news is that organisations seem to be adapting to the situation. A recent survey by MYOB, of 1,000 small to medium sized businesses across New Zealand, suggested that 60% of such organisations (mainly the medium sized businesses) offer some level of flexible work options to their staff. Options include; working from home (34%), flexible start and finish times (22%), flexible hours for parents to help with childcare (18%) and four day working weeks (4%). Let see how these trends develop over the next few months.