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New information on skill shortages
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  23 April 2009

Business Operations Survey: 2008  –  Media Release

Forty-seven percent of businesses reported that skilled vacancies were hard to fill, Statistics New Zealand said today. The Business Operations Survey 2008 asked businesses about skill shortages and vacancies, including reasons behind both, for the first time, covering the financial year ending August 2008.

The most common reason businesses reported for vacancies being hard to fill was applicants lacking the "desired attitude, motivation, or personality", with 34 percent of all businesses indicating this reason.

This release details some of the statistics collected by the Business Operations Survey, which includes sections on business operations, use of ICT, and strategy and skills.

The most common skill reported by businesses that existing staff most needed to improve was customer service or sales skills, which was reported by 27 percent of businesses. The range of skills varied across the different types of industries, depending on the nature of work undertaken.

The Business Operations Survey also asked businesses how they connected to and used the Internet. Levels of broadband Internet connection for businesses were high. Eighty-nine percent of all businesses used broadband to connect to the Internet during 2008. The levels of broadband connections was high across all industries, except for the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry where only 68 percent of businesses use broadband.

Finance related activities (such as online banking, invoicing or making online payments) were the most common business use of the Internet, with 85 percent of businesses reporting this activity.

The majority of business operations activities (such as export sales, tourism sales, overseas holdings and ownership) have remained at similar levels between 2007 and 2008.

This release presents a selection of statistics from the Business Operations Survey. A full set of all results tables will be released on 29 April 2009.

 Geoff Bascand 23 April 2009 
 Government Statistician  


For media enquiries contact:
Gary Dunnet
Wellington 04 931 4600


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