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Kiwi job market has a strong pulse - Trade Me

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Kiwi job market has a strong pulse - Trade Me

The New Zealand employment market continued its solid growth over the past quarter, continuing the growth trend of the past year according to analysis of almost 60,000 roles advertised on Trade Me Jobs.

Head of Trade Me Jobs, Peter Osborne, said the number of job listings nationwide was up 16.4% on the same period last year. Every region except Gisborne and Taranaki saw growth, and most areas experienced double-digit jumps throughout the quarter.

"It’s been wonderful to see job ad numbers go from strength to strength for a whole year now, and most of New Zealand has benefitted from the ongoing trend. It’s interesting to see the average number of applications has dipped, meaning that all things being equal, it would have been slightly easier for people to find work over recent months.

"While that’s great news for job hunters, it does make it tougher for advertisers to find staff, especially in hard to fill sectors like IT where application rates went down 20% on the previous quarter."

The national picture

Mr Osborne said the three main centres were "full steam ahead" this quarter. "We’ve become used to Auckland maintaining trajectory, and there’s no change on that front with job ads rising 18% year-on-year. The recent top form of both Wellington, up 13%, and Canterbury, up 15%, hasn’t abated either."

Nelson/Tasman (up 12.5%), Otago (up 30%), and Southland (up 32%) all achieved a solid increase in jobs advertised, but the highest lift over the quarter was a stellar 54% increase in Marlborough.

In the sectors

The ongoing demand for skilled technology workers is "as strong as ever", with more than 6,000 IT roles advertised on Trade Me Jobs, but Mr Osborne said a structural skills shortage meant employers were often left unable to fill vacancies.

"IT ads went up 20% year on year, but some of our advertisers say they simply can’t find the staff to fill them. While it’s blue skies for qualified IT boffins negotiating a good package - for employers, finding quality staff is proving a real challenge."

The effects of a burgeoning job market were reflected in some administrative sectors. "A lift in jobs also means a lift in processing applications and wrangling interviews, so unsurprisingly the demand for HR and recruitment staff is also on the rise, up 25% on last year."

Roles in construction and architecture (up 41%), property (up 40%), and agriculture, fishing and forestry (up 29%) made the highest jump in jobs listed compared to this time last year.

Mr Osborne said the national average pay ticked up 3% year on year to $62,736. "We’ve seen pay levels hold firm for most of the past year only to rise in the past quarter. This may be a reflection of upwards wage pressure caused by a growing job market, and jobs being slightly harder to fill."

Looking ahead

Mr Osborne said the lead-up to the holiday season will change the nature of jobs advertised. "The tail-end of the year typically sees the number of temporary and seasonal jobs ramp up substantially, and the number of permanent roles begins to ease off. This is a normal cycle.

"Anyone looking for work over the holidays should think about looking soon, because that’s when we see the vacancies open up. Starting to look a week out from Christmas is too late.

"If you are looking for a permanent role, don’t stop just because the market slows down. It’s easy to think the job search might be futile until the new year, but while there are fewer roles being advertised leading up to the holiday season, there will still be opportunities."

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