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December 2017




15 January 2018


“Generally, New Zealanders remain optimistic about the country’s employment situation, but there are signs of uncertainty, even pessimism, in some respondent categories in this December Quarter of the Westpac : McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Survey” announced Richard Miller, Managing Director of Strategy and Economics Consultancy, McDermott Miller Limited. “New Zealand-wide, the Employment Confidence Index (ECI) for December 2017 remains firmly optimistic at 113.9” observed Miller.


“The December survey interviews took place when the Labour, New Zealand First and Greens coalition Government was starting to indicate its policy intentions. It seems clear that the sentiment of various categories of employees has been influenced by the outcome of the General Election”, suggested Miller. “Some categories who were pessimistic under the previous Government are less so now and others more so”, he noted.


“Perhaps a highlight of the survey results is that all employee groups earning less than $100,000 per annum increased in confidence and are optimistic this December Quarter” stated Miller.  “This is largely because of more positive expectation of increased earnings over the coming year”.  “In contrast, employees in the highest income bracket (more than $100,000 pa) while still optimistic, lost confidence slightly, because they expect lower earnings and are more anxious about job security” observed Miller.


“The election also seems to have shaken the confidence of consumers in the Private Sector more than those in the Public Sector” observed Miller. The Private Sector Employment Confidence Index dropped 8.9 points to 110.5, while the Public Sector increased in optimism, up 9 points to 116.7”, said Miller. “This is the first time the Public Sector has been more optimistic than the Private Sector since June 2009”.  “This helps explain the divergence in employment confidence of Auckland, the main Private Sector employment centre, and Wellington, the main Public Service centre (Auckland fell by over 6 points to 115.6, while Wellington increased significantly, up 11.2 points to 113.9)”.



15 January 2018

Richard Miller, Managing Director

McDermott Miller Limited

Tel:  04 471  8500    Mobile:  027 451 0158


Index Background

The Index is based on survey results of a representative sample of 1555 New Zealand households interviewed during 1-10 December 2017.  It is made up of five component questions: (1) whether people feel that jobs are plentiful or hard to get now; (2) what job opportunities will be like in a year's time; (3) whether they are earning more or less now compared to a year ago; (4) what their earnings will be like in a year's time; and (5) how secure they feel in their present job. Questions 1 to 5 are used in the Employment Confidence Index, while questions 1 and 3 are used to calculate a Current Employment Conditions Index and questions 2, 4 and 5 are used to calculate an Employment Expectations Index.

The Index is intended to provide an indication of the level of job security amongst NZ workers and their wage expectations, and hence an insight into their willingness to spend. Over time, it is possible the Index may become a leading indicator for employment growth.


The Westpac: McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Survey and Index is owned by McDermott Miller Limited. Westpac : McDermott Miller should be acknowledged as the source when citing the Index, just as Westpac-Melbourne Institute should be acknowledged when citing the Australian Index of Consumer Sentiment. Graphs supplied may be reproduced by the news media provided the Westpac: McDermott Miller logo remains inset.


McDERMOTT MILLER LIMITED  Strategy and Economics Consultants



TELEPHONE (04) 471-8500