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Job market shows continuing health

Job market shows continuing health

The New Zealand job market continues to go from strength to strength, according to an analysis of over 50,000 roles listed on Trade Me Jobs in the final quarter of 2013.

Head of Trade Me Jobs, Peter Osborne, said the number of job listings increased 17% over the same period last year, with many employers predicting a healthy job market is in store for 2014.

“We saw a real patchwork market during the first half of 2013 with growth in job opportunities in some regions, notably Auckland, Canterbury and Waikato, but mixed results elsewhere,” he said. “In the second half of the year, a more buoyant economy shone through with Wellington and most other regions joining the party to finish 2013 on a real high.”

Mr Osborne said the Christchurch rebuild and an insatiable appetite for growth in Auckland had dominated recent market activity, but there was also good news elsewhere. “This quarter we saw year-on-year growth in the number of roles advertised in all regions except Gisborne, and across a majority of industries. This demonstrates the healthy state of the national job market and means there are opportunities for many job hunters across the country.”

The national picture

Remarkably, several regions recorded year-on-year job ad growth in excess of 20% during the last quarter with Bay of Plenty (+28%), Waikato (+26%), Nelson/Tasman (+28%) and Canterbury (+23%) all notable standouts.

“Together these regions account for one-third of all jobs on site, and their accelerated growth is a major contributor to the overall 17% increase in jobs advertised,” Mr Osborne said. “Auckland represents almost 40% of the national market and saw 17% growth on a year ago, providing a clear indication that our biggest employment market is showing no signs of losing speed.

“Christchurch job listings have also caught our attention with their momentum, up 24% on the same period last year,” Mr Osborne said. ”Meanwhile, the Wellington job market has also shown a higher rate of growth in the December quarter with 7.4% growth outstripping its 3.1% increase in September.”

In the sectors

Mr Osborne said it was no surprise that the number of roles in hospitality and tourism rose significantly in the lead-up to the summer holidays, but the 30% increase over and above the same period in 2012 was “a pleasant surprise”.

Agriculture, fishing & forestry, and customer service roles typically enjoy a pre-Christmas spike and were up 32% and 35% year-on-year respectively.

The second biggest employment sector, IT, experienced 9% year-on-year growth and continues to dominate the top end of the pay scale. “Eight of the top ten highest-paying jobs are in the IT sector and paying at least $110,000 per year. We’re seeing these high salaries being offered because there’s a real shortage of IT gurus out there, and businesses are throwing more money on the table to attract people into their roles,” Mr Osborne said.

Doctors ($146,000) and commercial property agents ($112,000) rounded out the top ten list.

Looking ahead

January and February are the peak months for new job advertising, and Mr Osborne said the strong conditions in the latter half of 2013 looked set to continue into 2014. “We expect there’ll be plenty of opportunities for school leavers, uni graduates and those looking for a change in the New Year to find the job they’ve been coveting.”

With job listings and salaries trending up, the outlook was rosy. “As confidence flows back into the wider economy, the immediate future is a solid show of strength for the national job market,” he said. “We haven’t seen a trend of increased job applications, which means candidates in many sectors and regions remain in short supply and are yet to take full advantage of a market leaning more in their favour.”

Full survey results here: Trade_Me_Jobs__Media_Release_Q4_2013.docx


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