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Some NZ Job Hunters Finally Seeing Wage Increases

Some New Zealand job hunters finally seeing wage increases

6 July 2017

New Zealand’s employment market continues to be extremely strong according to analysis of over 72,000 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs in the second quarter of 2017 (April-June).

Head of Trade Me Jobs Jeremy Wade said New Zealand job hunters had reason to celebrate this quarter with many sectors seeing strong growth in wages. “We said last quarter that we expected to see employers dip into their pockets to try and attract staff and we’re seeing signs of that in some sectors.

“Overall average pay was down 1 per cent, but in sectors with huge demand for staff the wages have begun to shift pretty markedly. For instance, the average wage in construction in Auckland has jumped 21 per centin the last year.”

Listings up yet again

New listings on Trade Me Jobs are up 12 per cent on this time last year and Mr Wade said it was the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in new listings. “The job market has experienced unbelievable growth over the last year, and we’ve seen listings up in every region across the country which is very rare.

“There are signs the Bay of Plenty may be slowing down a little, with listings up only 9 per cent year-on-year. That’s still sensational growth, but the Bay of Plenty has been a star performer in the last couple of years so this is a bit of a dip for that region. While new listings for transport & logistics and construction have grown this quarter, the biggest sector in the region, trades & services, was down 15 per cent year-on-year.

“Every region around the country, excluding the Bay of Plenty, is outpacing our three main centres for the second quarter in a row. Of particular interest is the Waikato (up 27 per cent year-on-year) and Otago (up 25 per cent) which are showing strong sustained growth.”

Mr Wade also said it continued to be a good time to be a job hunter in New Zealand. “The percentage of applications per listing was down in every region in New Zealand compared to this time last year, except for Gisborne (up a minute 0.5 per cent) and the West Coast (up a solid 24 per cent).

“If you’re thinking about making a move, now is a great time to do it. The dip in applications indicates that job seekers are being more selective and that it’s harder for employers to find the people they need. In many sectors there is a huge range of roles to choose from but not everyone will feel like winners in the market. We’re still seeing a chunk of people applying for roles but experiencing little joy in the job market.”

Pay improving in many sectors

Mr Wade said sectors with the most demand for new staff were starting to offer more money. “We’re not seeing the wage growth we expected yet, but we’re starting to see some green shoots in what has been a pretty barren landscape for Kiwi job hunters. The sectors needing people the most are starting to offer more.

“The 13 sectors with the highest growth in new listings have all had jumps in wages, with automotive roles (average pay up 5 per cent year-on-year) and construction (up 8 per cent) leading the way.

“This trend should continue growing as employers try to entice the talent they want by offering more cash. We expect this to spill over into other sectors in the next couple of quarters.” In the highest earning area stakes, Auckland City ($71,725) has beaten Wellington City ($66,853) for the second quarter in a row. Mr Wade said Auckland and Wellington again saw solid listing growth, up 11 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

“Auckland’s increase is being driven by a huge jump in the average pay for construction roles in the Super City. This is up a massive 21 per cent year-on-year from approximately $82,000 to just under $99,000.

“The building boom has created massive competition for talent and some employers in Auckland are pushing wages up in a big way to get staff onboard.” Around the sectors Of the 26 sectors on Trade Me Jobs, 18 saw an increase in the number of new listings year-on-year with transport (up 33 per cent), manufacturing (32.5 percent), automotive (31 per cent) and construction (26.5 per cent) all growing strongly.

“Infrastructure work around the country is fuelling the growth in these sectors and manufacturing is being spurred on by big jumps in listings in Auckland and Canterbury.”

Meanwhile, IT (down 22 per cent), executive and management (down 12 per cent) and marketing and communications (down 9 per cent) were the big decliners.



Further information/comment: if you’d like further data or analysis see MBIE’s Jobs Online report

for February or the ANZ’s latest Jobs releas e

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