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Kiwi jobs market running out of puff

Kiwi jobs market running out of puff

The number of new jobs being created in New Zealand is slowing after a strong run, according to an analysis of more than 60,000 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs in the three months to September. The number of new roles listed rose 1.2 per cent when compared to the same period last year, while the average advertised salary fell 2.6 per cent.

Head of Trade Me Jobs Peter Osborne said the employment market had been hinting at a slowdown for several months. “A number of economic indicators suggested the Kiwi job market was cooling off this year with employers not hiring as often, but new job listings remained strong on Trade Me Jobs in the face of a pessimistic outlook. Over the past three months however, things have started to quieten down.”

He said the number of job applications increased over the quarter, with employers finding it easier to fill new roles. “With fewer jobs and more applicants, employers won’t have to stretch the budget as much to compete for candidates. As a result, we expect that average salaries will show little if any growth over the coming quarter.”

IT sector cooling off

Roles in Information technology declined 28 per cent this quarter when compared to the same time last year, following an extended period of explosive growth. In contrast, the average applications per listing for IT roles rose by 78 per cent.

“This switch-over gives employers the upper hand, and they’ll be less inclined to keep upping salaries to compete for staff. Candidates hunting rockstar IT roles and salaries might find it more difficult to land their dream position now, given the increase in competition,” Mr Osborne said.

IT sectors that showed a decline in the number of roles available included Programming & development (down 31 per cent), Network & storage (down 58 per cent), and Business & systems analysts (down 30 per cent). However, the salaries on offer for IT roles remained strong with five of the top ten highest advertised pay rates in this sector, led by Project management at $135,664.

Aucklanders look nationwide for new jobs

Job hunters in Auckland sent 17 per cent more job applications in the 12 months to September 2015 when compared to the previous year.

Mr Osborne said there had also been a noticeable lift in interest for roles outside Auckland. “Over the past year, 13 per cent of applications sent by Auckland candidates were for roles located outside the Auckland region. That’s up an impressive 47 per cent on the previous year, matching the increasing pressure on the cost of living in New Zealand’s biggest city. This is also clearly reflected in the 81 per cent lift in applications for jobs in the Waikato by Aucklanders.”

He said the other areas which saw an increase in the number of job applications from Aucklanders were Canterbury (up 45 per cent) and the Bay of Plenty (up 32 per cent), and roles in Hospitality & tourism (up 69 per cent) and Trades & services (up 50 per cent).

“On the other hand, we saw a 16 per cent lift in applications for Auckland roles where the candidate was based outside the Auckland region, so we’ll be watching activity in this area with interest.”

The state of the nation

Mr Osborne said roles advertised across the country were up only 1.2 per cent in the quarter when compared to the previous year, with the biggest lifts in the Bay of Plenty (up 22.6 per cent), Auckland (up 7.3 per cent), and Hawke’s Bay (up 5.9 per cent). “Despite job ad growth in Auckland, average advertised pay slid four per cent to $71,546, so we may see flow-on effects in other areas of the economy if the slip turns into a longer-term trend.”

Regions showing the largest drop in advertised roles included Marlborough (down 5 per cent) Canterbury (down 6.2 per cent), and Wellington (down 7.6 per cent). “Although the number of roles available in the capital have simmered, it’s not all grim news as the city topped the highest average advertised rate of pay the country at $75,484,” Mr Osborne said.

Roles on offer in Canterbury dipped 6 per cent, while the average number of applications increased 41 per cent. “The easing of the jobs market in the Garden City was based mainly around rebuild work, with listings in Construction and architecture down 27 per cent, and Transport & logistics down 32 per cent,” he said.

In the sectors

Nationally, those looking for roles in Construction & architecture, Trades & services, and HR & recruitment found more choice over the quarter with the advertised roles up 12 per cent, 15 per cent, and 16 per cent respectively.

Roles in Engineering (down 10 per cent), Government & council (down 14 per cent), and Sales (down 11 per cent) were weaker over the quarter. “A slower sales sector is often a sign of lower business confidence particularly in the retail sector. Comments out of the recent Westpac McDermott Miller also showed that employment confidence has taken a dive, so the market outlook is a bit patchier than it has been in recent times.”


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