Westpac says exporting regions are the most concerned about job security in the country.
The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index released on Monday shows that employment confidence has fallen for the fourth quarter in the row, and is now at levels close to that seen in the 2008 recession.
Waikato was down close to 20 points on the same time last year, with Northland down just over four points and the Taranaki, Manawatu and Whanganui regions down six.
Westpac senior economist Felix Delbruck says a patchy world economy, with slowing growth in China and Australia and a weak Europe, accounts for this.
"Some regions like Otago and in some of the dairy exporting regions like the Waikato and Taranaki it's clear now from the survey that people in more export oriented regions are becoming more concerned for their employment prospects."