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SEEK NZ Employment Report - Strong Job Ad Performance In Quarter Four, Job Ads Up 19% On Quarter Three



  • SEEK job ads are up by 19% quarter-on-quarter (q/q).
  • SEEK job ads are down by 7% in Q4 compared to same period in 2019.
  • Sectors with the highest job ad growth q/q by volume are Information & Communication Technology, Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics and Trades & Services.


  • The majority of regions showed growth q/q with many regions surpassing pre-COVID levels (same period in 2019).
  • Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury were impacted the hardest in 2020 but have shown a strong improvement in the rate of recovery in Q4 with y/y job ads being down between 3% and 15%.
  • Professional Services and Customer Services have been slower to recover in metro areas.



The latest SEEK NZ Quarterly Employment Report data shows a positive q/q performance with a 19% national growth in jobs advertised during Q4 2020, which includes October, November and December.

Comparing quarter 4, 2020, with the same quarter in 2019 shows that job ad volumes are 7% lower.

Janet Faulding, General Manager, SEEK NZ comments: “The end to 2020 saw continued growth throughout the country, with almost all regions experiencing a substantial lift in new job ads posted to compared to the previous quarter. In Q4, Auckland rose 24%, Wellington increased 20% and Canterbury was up 17%.

“Despite such a unique and challenging year for the labour market it is really encouraging to end quarter 4 2020 just 7% lower than in 2019. It is a real testament to the resilience and hard work of so many New Zealanders to end the year positively.

“Following the New Zealand 2020 General Election in October, we noticed an increase in business confidence. More certainty led to continued growth in the lead up to the holiday period, when businesses prepared for this busier time of year, particularly in retail and hospitality.

“While job ad levels traditionally tail-off in December as many take much deserved time off, we anticipate activity to pick back up again after the school holidays as we have seen in previous years.”

Figure 2: Job ad percentage change by region Q4 2020 vs Q3 2020.


Metro areas, such as Auckland, are taking longer to fully recover as they have a greater reliance on Professional Services and Consumer Services roles.

Janet Faulding continues “Across metro areas, roles in Professional Services and Consumer Services continue to have the furthest to recover, showing a decline of 14% and 24% year-on-year respectively. When we experience a difficult economic outlook, businesses tend to hold off in recruiting these sorts of roles and less international tourism has had a significant impact.

“Before the pandemic, Professional Services roles in metro areas made up over a third of total job ads posted in, contrast to just 16% in regional areas. Although Consumer Services have similar percentages, 27% metro and 28% regional, the volume of roles in metro areas is far greater.”

Professional Services is comprised of Accounting, Human Resources & Recruitment, Marketing & Communications, Banking & Financial Services, Legal, Science & Technology, Consulting & Strategy, Information & Communication Technology and Insurance & Superannuation.

Consumer Services is comprised of Administration & Office Support, Hospitality and Tourism, Sales, Retail and Consumer Products, Real Estate and Property, Call Centre & Customer Service, Sport & Recreation and Advertising, Arts & Media.


The industries which continued to contribute to the highest growth in terms of job ad numbers in Q4 2020 were Information & Communication Technology (23%), Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics (21%) and Trades & Services (6%).

The five sectors that have the highest number of roles right now on are:

  • Information & Communication Technology with roles for developers / programmers, business / systems analysts, programme & project management, software engineering and help desk & IT support being in demand.
  • Trades & Services with roles for labourers, automotive trades, building trades, technicians, carpentry & cabinet making, electricians and hair & beauty services
  • Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics including roles in warehousing, storage & distribution, machine operations, assembly & process work, road transport and couriers, drivers & postal services
  • Healthcare & Medical with roles in psychology, counselling & social work, aged-care nursing and physiotherapy, occupational therapy & rehabilitation.
  • Construction including roles for forepersons, machinery operators, project managers and surveyors.
Figure 3: National SEEK NZ Job Ad percentage change by industry (Q4 vs Q3 2020). Source: SEEK Employment Index, October - December 2020 vs July – September 2020.

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