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The wait is over and the message is clear!

The result of the election has given the new Government a resounding mandate for change. This is not unusual in these very unusual times. We saw it in the US Elections and we all knew that it would happen here. We now await to see how fast and how effective that change will be. And whether some of the change promised will or can happen.

One thing for sure, we are going to see a change in the labour market, especially in the Government ranks. The Key Administration has promised to freeze the public service at the level it currently is, so whilst that may happen, the requirement for resource will continue unabated, and most likely mean that the demand for contract resource will increase in the short term.

New Zealand is a bit of a microcosm in that our labour market has been so starved of skills for so long, that in spite of the looming recession, our unemployment figures are still low and to all intents and purpose, even the worst case scenarios are predicting us rising to 5-6% whereas countries like Australia and the US are predicting much higher figures and perhaps heading towards double digits. Whilst our unemployment rate has risen slightly from 3.9% to 4.2%, employment growth has increased slightly and labour force participation hit an equal record high of nearly 69%. So that's not too bad when you hear the figures coming out of the US and Australian predictions.

I still think that the regions will fair better than the cities because our economy thrives on the dairy industry and in spite of reduced demand worldwide, the fall in our dollar should counter some of that fall-off in demand. Certainly whilst we have seen a slowing and a waiting and seeing approach, it appears the cities, particularly Auckland, are fairing worse.

Having said that, there are many companies operating counter-cyclical to the over-all situation who will take advantage of the market and look at taking market share through shrewd and careful strategies of growth. We all have to eat, sleep, travel, wear clothes, drive cars, use power, drink water, and still have some leisure time and enjoyment. There will be areas that will likely grow, such as those associated with DIY, or for example, BYO restaurants (as oppsed to those that are more expensive). People provide these activities, services, and products, and they are employed by companies or organisations and they will continue to do so.

So it is not all doom and gloom. My message - if you're out there looking or thinking of changing, chose your industry or sector and do your due diligence. Or else you could call me and we can help!

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