The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Labour crunch easing for Kiwi hospitality businesses

Temporary and casual staffing platform, Sidekicker, has released its first New Zealand Jobs Index, revealing that tight hiring conditions are finally easing for businesses.

The data for June recorded more than a 211% increase YoY in the application-to-shift ratio. This is despite the average business posting 46% more shifts YoY.

The Sidekicker Jobs Index analyses data from more than 2,500 thousand workers across businesses from several sectors in New Zealand, including hospitality and events.

Thomas Amos

The sector saw an application-to-shift ratio growing almost 200% YoY, despite the average business posting 126% more shifts compared to last year. Hourly rates also rose 4% YoY in this sector.

Thomas Amos, CEO & Co-Founder of Sidekicker, says that amid continued economic volatility, the findings were welcome news for New Zealand businesses.

“For New Zealand businesses struggling with hiring challenges, there’s finally a light on the horizon,” he says.

“With the return of international workers, the volume of registrations from local and international workers reached parity in June 2023.

“One of the core drivers of the easing is the continued growth in international registrations, which have grown 600% YoY. By comparison, local registrations have grown 62% over the same period.”

Amos says with the change in application-to-shift ratio, as well as the volume of international workers, it would be safe to say that the casual labouring crunch is significantly easing.

“We’ve come through COVID to the other side and it’s a new day for New Zealand businesses,” he says.

New Zealand businesses are now on average requesting the same amount of casuals as their counterparts in Australia.

A year ago, Australian businesses were hiring twice as many casuals but local businesses have now caught up, indicating a recovery in key sectors such as events and hospitality.

New Zealand businesses are also seeing a continued improvement in worker reliability. The previous wide gap between worker reliability in Australia and New Zealand has now closed.

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