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Labour market tight despite easing shortages

Labour market remains tight despite easing shortages

Two Department of Labour reports released today showed that employers may be finding it easier to recruit suitable candidates than they did a year ago, but the labour market remains tight.

“A slight easing in the labour market is predicted in the year ahead, but the low unemployment rate continues to impact on business and industry,” Chief Executive James Buwalda said.

“The Department’s focus continues to be on addressing skill shortages through a range of measures from increasing productivity, attracting skilled migrants and expatriates to New Zealand who can contribute to economic growth, as well as input to training and education initiatives.”

The Department’s quarterly Skills in the Labour Market report released today showed that a shortage of labour remains a constraint on economic growth.

“With unemployment at 3.4 percent, and the economy still going strong, skill shortages continue to be apparent across most industries and regions, to varying extents,” Dr Buwalda said.

At the same time, employers are under less pressure than they were last year. The Department’s Job Vacancy Monitor showed a 3 percent decline in vacancies advertised in November 2005 from November 2004.

This is the second consecutive month in which an annual decrease in job vacancies has been measured. In October, the number of job vacancies advertised in newspapers across the country fell by 3 percent compared to the previous October.

This trend was apparent across all skill levels including highly-skilled occupations such as engineering as well as skilled and semi-skilled/elementary occupations.

The IT sector moved against the trend and again measured strong growth in vacancies. There were 24 percent more IT vacancies measured in November compared with the same month in 2004.

“This reflects a growing gap between demand for, and supply of, IT skills,” Mr Buwalda said.

The Job Vacancy Monitor is a monthly, one-day analysis of job vacancies advertised in 25 newspapers and selected websites.

For further information contact Dionne Barton on 04 915 4256 or 027 296 9680

Regional information

Year-on-year regional changes in the number of advertised vacancies in November 2005 (compared with year-on-year regional increases in October 2005) are shown below.

Please note that national growth rates are based on a 3-month moving average while regional growth rates are based on a 12-month moving average.

Change November 2004 Change October 2004
to November 2005 to October 2005

Auckland -2% 1%

Bay of Plenty 26% 27%

Canterbury 4% 6%

Gisborne 16% 12%

Hawke’s Bay 6% 6%

Manawatu-Wanganui 10% 14%

Marlborough 3% 8%

Nelson/Tasman -14% -11%

Northland 34% 34%

Otago 9% 9%

Southland 9% 11%

Taranaki 25% 32%

West Coast 41% 41%

Waikato 8% 5%

Wellington 12% 15%

The full November Job Vacancy Monitor is available on:
Job Vacancy Monitor

The Skills in the Labour Market report is available on:
Labour Market Report

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