The pace of hiring has slowed and wage pressures have increased as employers struggle to find the right staff, employment group Manpower says.
The company's latest survey has found a net 8 percent of employers expected to hire more staff, which is about half the level of a year ago.
The survey of more than 650 employers indicated 80 percent wouldn't be changing their current workforce, while 14 percent were looking to hire, and 4 percent were thinking about cutting jobs.
Manpower's New Zealand business development manager Neil Munro said the underlying issue was a shortage of skilled people.
"Employers will hire if they find very very good staff, but it's very difficult to find that talent ... and they're finding other ways to get the growth they're looking for.
"We're finding wage pressures at about 3 percent, but in some sectors such as construction we're finding a lot more wage pressure."