Shopless: Predictions for the New Zealand Job Market in 2022

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jan. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The future’s looking bright for New Zealand job seekers in 2022. With the idea of "The Great resignation" being floated and New Zealand moving to the traffic light system, what are the predictions for the job market as a whole? How is 2022 expected to affect jobseekers, employees and employers. Shopless looks into the predictions for the New Zealand job market in 2022 based on current statistics.

The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation is a concept that has been floated by NZ media outlets since mid-2021. When the COVID pandemic became a major factor in early 2020, many businesses responded to what was considered to become a global recession by reducing their employee numbers. This resulted in extensive global layoffs, particularly in industries hit the hardest by the pandemic such as hospitality. However many businesses found that where they previously sourced talent from other countries for certain specific roles. This was now made difficult by the lack of talent coming into the country and lack of movement of jobseekers between countries. Thus companies were compelled to source talent either from within their own business, or from local jobseekers. BBC described it as the great reshuffle. By October 2021 3% of the workforce in America had resigned to seek work elsewhere, through other companies or through their own self employment.

Many international news outlets have suggested that the Great Resignation of 2021/2022, allows employees to have more power and say in their employment. Whether that is having control over their employment prospects, work-life balance, current role, job opportunities from other companies or pay negotiation. Between December 2020 and April 2021 AUT conducted a study on what The Great Resignation would look like in New Zealand. The study found that by the end there was an increase of 34% of participants who wanted to leave their jobs. Overall AUT found that most New Zealanders were content in their jobs, but due to the preposition of better pay or more suitable work the interest in moving to another position increased. With the top employees most likely to leave their role being – labour workers, health/support workers, sales, customer service and tourism workers.

Talent will Continue to Want to Work Remotely

The past two years have seen an abrupt transition by workplaces to remote working. Many workplaces have transitioned to a more flexible work environment, to incorporate both working from home and in office work. With employees identifying a better lifestyle when working from home is an option. More potential employees will be seeking this flexible work arrangement, and a rise of 10% of Americans expecting their work to be conducted as fully remote work. A desire to move away from inflexible work environments to ones that account for a better lifestyle.

Glassdoor predicted that workers will be moving out of the big cities, and expecting to work remotely for similar wages. A concept called "geo-neutral" pay, where employees expect the same pay scale regardless of their physical location. These requirements are also expected to be an expectation of New Zealand job seekers in 2022.

More adaptability amongst Jobseekers

Several international predictions about ‘job shuffling’ in 2022, suggest that the jobseekers will be more adaptable and willing to learn new skills if the right opportunity arises. Forbes defined this phenomenon as the ‘office walls’ coming down. "For example, why can’t a high school social studies teacher be an amazing customer support person or an online community manager? As being co-located near offices becomes more flexible, we’ll see roles do the same." The same is expected within New Zealand, we have already seen many professionals seek alternative options such as pilots seeking work as train drivers. And other tourism professionals that have had to transition to different workplaces due to the impact of COVID on the New Zealand tourism industry. Adaptability is key for jobseekers keen to take advantage of a great employment market. As employees can quickly make a name for themselves within a new industry, and build a positive reputation.

Increase in Small Businesses and Self Employed

A result of the Great Resignation and impacts of COVID is a massive increase in self employed people or people starting small businesses. In 2021 between January and November, America saw just under 5 million new businesses created. New Zealand is due to see a similar pattern as movement in the workforce becomes more prominent in 2022. The year between March 2020 to March 2021 saw an increase in self employment of 7.9%. That is an increase of 24,700 self-employed people in New Zealand, and was predicted by statistics New Zealand to further increase even more between 2021 to 2022.

In summary, job prospects are looking positive for New Zealand job seekers in 2022. But workplaces can also adapt to the movement predicted. Incentives such as a better work-life balance, more autonomy and better chances of progression are all options that are expected to entice new employees in 2022. As workers have a better understanding of how they work and their desired career trajectory.

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Source: Shopless: Predictions for the New Zealand Job Market in 2022