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Regional employment warms up, says SEEK

21 August 2014

Regional employment warms up, says SEEK

Data from New Zealand’s leading online employment marketplace, SEEK, has shown for those seeking new employment opportunities the regional areas are warming up, while four interest rate rises in the last five months have tempered the rapid job growth seen earlier in the year across major cities.

A leading economic indicator for New Zealand, SEEK’s data has revealed that regional locations across New Zealand experienced the highest new job ad growth in July. Across the South Island (outside of Canterbury), new job ads increased by 3.7 per cent, while areas in the North Island (outside of Auckland and Wellington) grew by 2.1 per cent.

“As indicated in the Ministers for Economic Development and Primary Industries’ July report on emerging opportunities for New Zealand in East and South East Asia; strong employment growth potential exists across the country’s regional food growing and processing areas,” says SEEK New Zealand’s General Manager, Janet Faulding.

“Regions that support the production and processing of exports for infant formula, dairy nutritionals, meat and seafood, such as Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu, Greymouth and Northland, are in need of a range of skills from labourers to science and technology specialists,” says Ms Faulding.

In July alone, roles for farming horticulturalists saw an increase in demand of 55 per cent, farm labourers 52 per cent and food technology and safety specialists by 47 per cent.

Across the country other roles that demonstrated increase in labour demand in July were environmental earth and geosciences sector (up 147 per cent), corporate and commercial law sector (up 120 per cent) and roles for engineering draftsman (up 110 per cent).

In Canterbury, new job ads were up 2.2 per cent, attributed to the ongoing construction and redevelopment of the region.

While overall in New Zealand, new job ads eased in July with a 0.8 dip, in seasonally adjusted terms, new job ads on SEEK are now 11.3 per cent higher than in the same month last year.

In Auckland and Wellington drops in new job ads in July of -2.7 per cent and -2.1 per cent respectively were seen. However, it’s important to note that this comes off a strong new job ad growth-base.

The SEEK Employment Index, which measures the ratio of new job ads placed with SEEK to the number of applications for those jobs, rose by 0.8 per cent in July and is now 2.5 per cent higher than the same month last year.

“With a wide range of industries poised to grow across regional locations in New Zealand, candidates should be feeling confident about future job opportunities, especially once the New Zealand Government’s pledged $200 million regional development fund comes into effect,” concludes Ms Faulding.


SEEK New Job Ads
Across New Zealand, the seasonally adjusted SEEK New Job Ads series fell by 0.8 per cent in July 2014.

New job ads increased in “North Island – Other” (2.1 per cent), Canterbury (2.2 per cent) and “South Island – Other” (3.7 per cent) but declined in Auckland (-2.7 per cent) and Wellington (-2.1 per cent).

SEEK Employment Index (SEI)
Across New Zealand, the SEI increased 0.8 per cent in July 2014.

In July 2014, the SEI series increased in: “North Island – Other” (1.4 per cent), Canterbury (5 per cent) and “South Island – Other” (14.1 per cent) but declined in Auckland (-1.2 per cent) and Wellington (-0.8 per cent).

About SEEK
SEEK is a diverse group of companies, comprised of a strong portfolio of online employment, educational, commercial and volunteer businesses. SEEK is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, where it is a top 50 company with a market capitalization close to A$6 billion.

With exposure to 2.5 billion people and over 20 per cent of global GDP, SEEK makes a positive contribution to people’s lives on a global scale.

SEEK New Zealand currently receives over 3.3 million visits per month. The SEEK experience is seamless across desktop, mobile and iPad and currently 40 per cent of all visits are via mobile devices.

Source: SEEK Omniture Data July 2014

About the SEEK Employment Index
Developed in consultation with Victoria University's Centre of Strategic Economic Studies, the SEEK Employment Index (SEI) is the first New Zealand aggregate indicator to measure the interaction between labour market supply and labour market demand.

Specifically, the SEI represents the relationship between demand for workers and jobseeker activity. When the Index increases, it demonstrates a 'tightening' employment market; where advertisers find it harder to fill roles (i.e.: demand outweighs supply). This is favourable for jobseekers, as job opportunities are greater and competition between applicants is reduced. Inversely, as the Index falls, it demonstrates a 'softening' employment market (i.e.: supply outweighs demand) and advertisers find it easier to fill roles. In this instance, jobseekers need to compete for the available jobs


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