One of the best indicators of a country’s economic performance is the level of recruitment agency activity. Whether it’s strong organic growth or hot levels of M&A activity, you can be sure that recruitment agency profit levels make new markets attractive for aggressive agency owners with deep pockets or strong credit ratings.
I am a big fan of New Zealand’s preeminent recruitment agency blogger, Jonathan Rice (owner of rec-to-rec firm, Rice Consulting) for his incisive and witty weekly blog The Whiteboard on all things to do with the NZ recruitment scene.
A couple of Jonathan’s recent posts have highlighted the growth in the numbers of recruitment agencies in the local market, especially the influx of overseas operators hanging out their shingle or buying locally-owned agencies.
All this activity indicates that the times are good in the NZ economy and the recent Statistics New Zealand Labour Market Statistics: December 2015 quarter appears to strongly support the positive economic position.
|Category||Dec 2015||Change from Dec 2014|
|Unemployment rate||5.3%||-0.7 percentage points|
|Participation rate||68.4%||-1.0 percentage points|
|Total weekly paid hours||57.1 million||+3.8%|
|Wage inflation (since Dec 2014)||+1.5%|
Selected Statistics New Zealand commentary
Highlight 1: The good news for unemployment is widespread
5.3% is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009 (when it was 5.2%). This fall reflected 16,000 fewer people being unemployed over the quarter.
Over the 2015 year, the number of unemployed men was unchanged, while the number of unemployed women was down 10,000.
In the year to December 2015, the unemployment rate for the North Island fell 0.6 percentage points, to 5.6%, while that for the South Island was unchanged, at 4.1%.
The unemployment rate for Māori fell 1.6 percentage points to 10.6%in the year ended December 2015 The unemployment rate for Pacific peoples dropped over the 2015 year to 9.7% (from 11.4% a year earlier)
Highlight 2: Auckland construction industry recruiters are probably driving flash new cars
Annual employment growth in Auckland increased 2.9% in the December 2015 quarter, after dropping to 1.5% last quarter. This came from 23,100 more people being employed in Auckland over the year
The construction industry was the largest contributor to annual employment growth, with 27,500 more people employed over the year to December 2015.
The majority of construction employment growth was in Auckland, with 18,900 more people employed over 2015.
Technicians and trade workers also had a large employment growth, with 20,800 more people employed in this occupation group over the year.
Highlight 3: Wages growth continues to beat inflation growth
In the year to December 2015, prices of goods and services bought by households, as measured by the consumers’ price index (CPI) increased 0.1% – the lowest annual increase since 1999.
The Labour Cost Index salary and wage rates (including overtime) increased 1.5% over the same period. The bad news for employees is that this is the lowest annual increase since the March 2010 quarter.
Wage inflation has now been higher or equal to the CPI for more than four years.
Lowlight 1: Labour force participation rates continue to drop
The labour force participation rate continued to decline from a record high in the March 2015 quarter. This is the third quarter in a row in which labour force participation has fallen.
This continuing decrease in labour force participation was partly due to more retirees (up 31,500), and more people at home but not looking after children (up 15,400).
One of the key statistics driving recruitment agency growth is the ‘Filled jobs’ category. A 2.7% annual rise over the most recent 12 month survey period (January 2015 – December 2015) comes on top of a 2.5% rise in the 12 month period, January 2014 – December 2014 and a 1.9% rise in the 12 month period, January 2013 – December 2013.
If this New Zealand ‘Filled jobs’ growth continues its current momentum, you can sure that there will be plenty more upcoming Kiwi recruitment agency growth and acquisition activity worth writing about on The Whiteboard … and an increasing number of Kiwi recruiters driving flash new cars.
Most recent blogs