Workers no easier for big companies to find
Page 1 of 2 5:00AM Tuesday May 29, 2007
By Brian Fallow

A scarcity of labour, especially the skilled variety, is chief executives' No 1 concern about the state of the economy.

Even after two years of below-par economic growth the unemployment rate is only 3.8 per cent.

The Mood of the Boardroom survey's finding that skill shortages top the list of respondents' economic concerns is consistent with Institute of Economic Research's March survey of business opinion. It recorded a steep rise in the proportion of firms saying it was getting harder to find both skilled an unskilled labour and a jump in the number of firms citing labour as the main constraint on increasing production.

Wage increases and skill shortage also top the list of concerns for small to medium-sized enterprises.

The population is ageing and net migration, while positive, does little to offset that. Because of the gap in incomes that has opened up between New Zealand and most other developed countries including Australia, we tend to lose three New Zealanders for every four immigrants.

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