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Get used to the 'new normal'

The latest Hays Salary Guide cautions us not to expect any quick or dramatic upswing in global economic conditions, or, correspondingly, local employment markets.

The latest Hays Salary Guide cautions us not to expect any quick or dramatic upswing in global economic conditions, or, correspondingly, local employment markets.

"There is no silver bullet over the horizon to wait for," Hays New Zealand managing director Jason Walker said. "Current conditions are here to stay for some time, so the sooner we can adapt business practices to meet the requirements of this - the 'new normal' - rather than waiting for a dramatic reversal to the global market to set us on a more secure road, the more effective we'll all be."

Released today, the 2012 Hays Salary Guide says the New Zealand workforce can expect a moderate salary increase this year.

It found that most employers are increasing salaries, albeit moderately; 55 percent of employers in New Zealand increased salaries less than three percent in their last review, while 23 percent increased between three and six percent. Nine percent increased salaries above six percent, but 13 percent gave no increases.

In general, the biggest salary increases have been seen in IT and insurance since the rebuild of Christchurch is driving up demand.

Looking ahead, 63 percent of employers intend to increase salaries by less than three percent when they next review; nearly 10 percent do not intend to offer any raises.

"New Zealand is sitting on the edge of a two-speed economy," Walker said. "The South Island is in top gear as the demolition and rebuild of Christchurch fuels demand for skilled professionals. But in sharp contrast the North Island is in a holding pattern and is neither improving nor worsening.

"With New Zealand's economy set to run on two speeds for some time, we have a recruitment market full of contrast. Without doubt employers are more positive in their outlook in the South, where skills shortages and the movement of professionals out of the Canterbury region have created sourcing challenges and vacancy activity for employers."