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Job market growth slowing, employers hold upper hand

18 January 2013

Job market growth slowing, employers hold upper hand

Growth in the job market has slowed, with advertised vacancies up 11.4 per cent on a year ago, according to an analysis of over 42,000 roles on Trade Me Jobs over the last quarter.

Head of Trade Me Jobs Pete Ashby said that while this was only a slight deceleration from the 12.3% growth recorded last quarter, he had expected a stronger result. “The same quarter a year ago was disrupted by the tail end of the RWC and the general election. So we’d hoped to show better growth, but double digit growth isn’t to be scoffed at.”

At the same time, there was a 9.7% increase in applications per job, creating an ‘employers market’ in many segments.

By the regions

“The Christchurch market continues to dominate the employment landscape, with 46% of the increase in listings across the country coming from the Canterbury market.”

The building and construction sectors are booming, especially site management (up 119%), supervisors and forepersons (up 155%), building and carpentry (up 94%) and labourers (up 90%). Forecasts suggest 15,000 to 30,000 workers will be required to meet this demand, so employers will likely look offshore to fill these roles.

“The increased demand appears to be driving up pay rates, especially in the commercial construction sector. Site management and supervisory roles are up by over 5%; well above the national average.”

”It’s also encouraging to see job growth rippling through the broader Canterbury economy. Advertised vacancies for office and administration, and hospitality and tourism roles have lifted by 58% and 48% respectively.

There was also resurgent growth in New Zealand’s largest labour market - Auckland. “Listings across the Auckland region were up by 7.3% - a marked increase on last quarter. While the majority of jobs are still in the central city and Manukau, it’s the secondary areas such as the North Shore and Waitakere which have grown fastest (up 22% and 33% respectively).”

Cold ale and hot coffee driving growth

Construction and architecture vacancies grew faster than any other sector (up 109%). “The growth in the construction sector was a national phenomenon, with listings more than doubling in Auckland, Wellington and BOP, as well as Christchurch.

Other sectors demonstrating strong growth included healthcare (up 32%), transport and logistics (up 30%), and hospitality and tourism (25%). Mr Ashby said that Kiwis’ thirst for coffees and cold ales had continued unabated and had driven the demand for hospo workers in the main centres and holiday hot spots across the country.

And while demand for engineers appears flat, this masked a growing demand in some segments. “There’s an acute shortage of experienced civil and structural engineers, and employers are increasingly looking overseas to fill the gaps.”

The outlook

While business confidence is improving, house prices are rising again and interest rates are still relatively flat. “These are typically great catalysts for growth in the job market.”


Trade Me Jobs employment survey results: October – December 2012
1. Listings growth by job: Q4/2012

JobChange vs. Q3/2012Change vs. Q4/2011
Accounting - 21.3%- 26.3%
Agriculture, fishing & forestry - 14.1%21.5 %
Banking, finance & insurance - 13.3%11.5 %
Construction & architecture 12.6 %109.3 %
Customer Service - 21.0%- 2.3%
Education - 12.1%- 6.9%
Engineering - 18.7%- 8.5%
Government & council 3.7 %4.1 %
Healthcare - 18.2%32.0 %
Hospitality & tourism 11.3 %25.3 %
HR & recruitment - 2.6%- 3.8%
IT - 17.7%- 19.7%
Legal - 13.6%11.4 %
Manufacturing & operations - 1.1%7.6 %
Marketing, media & comms - 19.6%8.8 %
Office & administration - 22.2%8.2 %
Retail - 12.2%11.8 %
Sales - 18.2%- 2.6%
Science & technology - 14.9%4.2 %
Trades & services 3.6 %37.4 %
Transport & logistics 11.7 %30.3 %
Overall- 8.3%11.4 %

2. Average rates of annual pay by job (full-time jobs only): Q4/2012

Highest paid Pay rate ($)
1IT Functional Consultants138,500
2IT Architects133,928
3IT Project Managers123,896
4Doctors and specialists 121,472
5Finance managers and Controllers121,442
Lowest paid Pay rate ($)
1Care Givers 32,894
2Bar staff and Baristas32,241
3Receptionist & front desk33,396
4Kitchen Staff33,748
5Retail Assistant33,961

3. Listings growth by region for Q4/2012

Region Change vs. Q3/2012Change vs. Q4/2011
Auckland - 10.0%7.3 %
Bay of Plenty - 10.1%10.3 %
Canterbury - 8.1%31.5 %
Gisborne - 13.5%1.7 %
Hawke’s Bay 3.3 %16.2 %
Manawatu / Wanganui 5.4 %41.9 %
Marlborough - 8.0%17.9 %
Nelson / Tasman - 7.5%10.0 %
Northland- 7.9%5.8 %
Otago 5.2 %27.4 %
Southland - 20.0%- 3.3%
Taranaki - 9.0%2.7 %
Waikato - 12.6%5.3 %
Wellington - 7.2%1.1 %
West Coast - 17.2%- 13.1%
National- 8.3%11.4 %

4. Average rates of annual pay by region (full-time jobs only)

Highest paid Pay rate ($)
1Wellington City 74,759
2Auckland City 73,410
New Plymouth
Lowest paid Pay rate ($)
3Kapiti Coast46,408
4South Waikato46,647

NB: Segments with less than 50 jobs excluded.

About Trade Me Jobs
More Kiwis visited Trade Me Jobs ( than any other job board in 2012 (Source:
Nielsen Net Ratings: Monthly Unique Audience). Full details of pay by profession for full-time jobs listed between July and November June 2012 are in the updated Trade Me Jobs Salary Guide.

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