The New Zealand job market is at a six-year high with 92.5 per cent of employers indicating they intend on hiring more staff or maintaining existing levels.

The Hudson Report monitors hiring intentions across New Zealand and found 29 per cent of employers intended to hire staff for the first half of 2016, an increase of 10 percentage points from 2010, when the net hiring intention was at 19.6 per cent.

Roman Rogers, executive general manager of Hudson New Zealand, said growth has been muted in many industries for the past six years.

"What we're seeing is other sectors starting to pull their weight, including manufacturing, transport, tourism, financial services and, chiefly, IT has regained momentum."


Employers in the IT industry were most likely to be increasing staff, with a net 40.7 per cent looking to increase or maintain permanent head count in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

"There is a lack of tolerance for organisations that are antiquated with their technology. We are seeing a real groundswell to keep pace with that demand, with organisations recognising the need to invest in IT in order to stay relevant," Rogers said.

Lack of career progression and feeling disappointed with a salary were the next most common factors behind workers looking for a new role.

The right salary and and work-life balance were the two leading aspects that employees were looking for while job-hunting.

Career progression, the culture of the workplace and a respected manager were the next most important parts of the role.

"There is an expectation that employers will open their wallets in 2016," Rogers said.

Meanwhile, New Zealand workers became more optimistic about their job prospects in the December quarter, with employees feeling more secure and expecting future pay rises.

The Westpac-McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose 2.2 points to 101.5 in December, gaining from the three-year low it reached in the September quarter. A reading above 100 indicates optimists outweigh pessimists.