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New Zealand – Job market growth continues

04 October 2013

The New Zealand employment market is continuing to grow, according to an analysis of over 50,000 roles listed job board Trade Me Jobs. The number of job listings increased by +9.8% compared with a year ago, following on from a double digit growth in the last quarter.

The Head of Trade Me Jobs, Peter Osborne, said: We’re becoming confident that the buoyancy in the Kiwi job market isn’t a temporary affair, considering the +11% growth last quarter and +5.3% growth in the first quarter of 2013. It reflects an increasing confidence as employers look to boost investment in new staff.”

Mr Osborne continued: “There is a pretty clear divide between growth in the top half of the North Island and the rest of the country, though there are strong pockets scattered throughout. Agriculture, fishing and forestry is flying although farming has evened out after stellar growth in recent quarters. While the overall picture remains positive, fewer roles out on the pastures could be causing some pain in regional economies.”

Auckland has seen significant growth in job listings compared to the same period last year, Mr Osborne said. “The Super City is living up to its name, remaining the powerhouse of the nation with roles rising +13.5%. The two regions experiencing the largest growth spurts were North Shore which was up +19.8 %, and Papakura which saw a +24.6% lift in advertised roles.”

Canterbury job listings were up +10.4 % on the same period last year, with Christchurch up +9.9%, led by trades and services (up +46%), transport and logistics (up +31%), healthcare (+34%) and hospitality (+31%). “Activity in the Garden City is being driven by the continued demand for people to drive the rebuild and economic recovery,” Mr Osborne said.

The Wellington job market has been relatively subdued for some time but is showing signs of positivity, growing +3.1%. “According to September’s ANZ Monthly Business Outlook survey, business confidence is at its highest since March 1999, and while Wellington has tended towards pessimism these past couple of years, it has now joined the fold and showing optimism,” Mr Osborne said.

Mr Osborne said the labour market is in good shape with roles in manufacturing and operators up +26.5%, and increased supply in warehousing (up +72%) and process/assembly (up +47%).

“We’re also seeing impressive growth in construction and architecture sector, with architects and machine operator roles up +81% and +90% respectively. Coupled with a +32% year-on-year lift in trades and services roles, there are indications building and trades will continue to perform strongly,” he said.

“Finesse with a pen is also highly sought after with roles in marketing, media and communications up +18.8% on last year,” Mr Osborne said. “An increased appetite for designers is the big driver here, not to mention the salaries on offer for these positions.”

Remuneration in the IT sector continues to climb, pushing other traditionally prominent professions further down the salary food chain. Mr Osborne commented: “When Trade Me Jobs first ran its salary survey, doctors and medical specialists were taking home the highest pay packets. Now they’re barely hanging on in the top five, due to consistent increases in rock-star IT salaries.”

New Zealanders looking for holiday jobs will see more seasonal roles become available and should apply early in the piece, Mr Osborne said. “These roles will fill quickly through October and November as employers staff up in readiness for the holiday season – job hunters should keep an eye out for summer opportunities in hospitality, tourism, retail and agriculture in particular.”

Continued growth is also expected in the national employment market. “The ANZ research shows business confidence levels are at their peak since March 1999. We should continue to see a good period of market growth in the months to come,” he said.

He added that the strong demand for jobs, measured by applications per role, is likely to slow. “Top-level workers will become harder to find and this will drive the currently benign wage inflation and see a slowdown in positions available at the top end of town.”

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