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Job market swings to favour employers

Job market swings to favour employers

While the number of jobs advertised grew in the final quarter of 2015, there was an explosion in the number of job applications according to the latest data from Trade Me Jobs.

Head of Trade Me Jobs Peter Osborne said analysis of more than 58,000 listings in the three months to December showed that growth in job listings was definitely slowing with only a modest 2.2 per cent growth in the last quarter.

Mr Osborne said that job advertising had slowed overall compared to the “giddy heights” of early last year and the year prior, and with high demand for new roles “the ball is now firmly in the employers’ court”.

“The clearest indicator that the market has moved in favour of employers has been the huge increase in job applications we’re seeing on Trade Me Jobs. During the final quarter of last year the average number of applications received per listing was up 12 per cent on the previous quarter.

“This increase means employers should find it easier to fill roles and job hunters are going to have a tougher time landing a job. Put simply, there are now more candidates for employers to choose from.”

Mr Osborne said if the trend continues he expects the time it takes to find a job will increase, so people looking for a new role should generally anticipate a longer search and will need to put more effort into the process.

“Whenever you apply for a new job you need to research, prepare and practice, but it’s now more important that you do that leg work to help you stand out from the crowd. Candidates who take their time to understand the business they want to work for and who nail the application process will find a role in a more competitive job market.”

2015 in review

Mr Osborne said the start of 2015 had seen a largely buoyant job market with growth across most industry sectors and regions.

“Demand for IT, construction and people in the trades was especially high at the beginning of 2015, and Auckland continued its spectacular expansion with new jobs advertised growing each quarter in double digits. Auckland ended the year with 9 per cent growth in listings compared to 2014. The Bay of Plenty also had an incredible year with an 18 per cent increase in listings.

“However other regions didn’t enjoy quite as prosperous a year. By June growth had slowed in Wellington and Canterbury indicating the demand for workers had become patchier,” he said.

Competition for roles has become particularly fierce in Canterbury where listings fell by 6 per cent but applications for roles jumped 22 per cent.

Demand in Christchurch for construction and tradespeople for the rebuild settled down to a more sustainable level as 2015 progressed. “Slowing demand for workers in Christchurch is not necessarily a bad result, since many employers have been finding it virtually impossible to hire a full roster of skilled people when the rebuild was at its peak,” he said.

Predictions for the year ahead

“Indications are that 2016 is shaping up to favour employers more than job hunters, as seen in the latter part of 2015, with Auckland being the major exception with its continued growth and demand for workers.”

Mr Osborne predicts that the “dizzying” surge in job advertising in the Construction and Trades sectors of recent years should settle into a more sustainable level of demand in Christchurch, while large infrastructure programmes and the growth of Auckland is likely to continue as the super city continues to expand.

“Skilled trades and professions are likely to remain in relatively high demand, while applicants for hospitality and tourism, customer service and office admin jobs in particular may find it more difficult to secure a role with increased job hunter competition in these sectors.

“Overall, we still expect new job advertising to increase in the foreseeable future but with a greater breadth of highs and lows across regions and industry sectors as we saw in the last quarter of 2015.”

Regional round-up

Otago was the star performer of the last quarter with a 19.7 per cent increase in listings compared to last year. Nelson/Tasman, Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and Auckland also all experienced double digit growth.

Canterbury and the West Coast saw the biggest reduction in listings compared to 2014 with 11.5 percent and 19.9 per cent drops respectively.

Sector news

While the IT sector dominates the highest paid stats, taking out all of the top 10 positions, competition for those roles has jumped with last quarter with applications up 8 per cent this quarter.

Applicants in the Customer service and Education sectors had greater choice with growth in listings of 24.3 and 17.2 per cent respectively.


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