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SEEK NZ Employment Report - April

NATIONAL INSIGHTS

  • Job ads fell 4% in April and are 30% lower year-on-year.
  • Applications per job ad rose 5% in March*, but the increase is not across every industry, with Hospitality & Tourism and Retail & Consumer Products recording a fall in applications per job ad month-on-month (m/m).

REGIONAL INSIGHTS

  • Ad volumes in the metro regions fell 6% m/m, leading the national decline.
  • Waikato was the most populous region to record a rise in job ads (1%)

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

  • Insurance & Superannuation (17%) and Education & Training (2%) were among the few industries where ad volumes increased in April.
  • Ads in Hospitality & Tourism declined 21% m/m, the largest monthly decline for the industry in over two years.

*Applications per job ad are recorded with a one-month lag and data shown in this report refers to March data.

Of the April data, Rob Clark, Country Manager SEEK NZ, says:

“Job ad volumes dropped in April by 4%, with the public holidays bookending the month likely a major contributor to the hiring slowdown.

“Consumer Services roles saw the largest decline in April, with demand for Hospitality & Tourism workers down 21% from March. The downward trend is not across the board, however, with ad volumes in Engineering, Education & Training and Insurance & Superannuation increasing month-on-month.

“Applications per job ad jumped 5% in March, driving competition among candidates to even greater peaks. In industries such as Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Retail & Consumer Products and Community Services & Development, applications per job have more than doubled over the past year, which can make it incredibly difficult for candidates to stand out.

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“My advice to those who are currently looking for a job is to pay close attention to the role requirements and criteria, and provide clear and concise evidence to show you’d be a good fit.”

NATIONAL INSIGHTS

Job ads fell for a third consecutive month, dropping 4% in April and are now 30% lower year-on-year.

Applications per job ad rose 5% and are now 96% higher than the same time last year, when they were already at historically high levels (excluding the COVID period).

Figure 1: National SEEK job ad percentage change m/m April 2023 to April 2024
Table 1: National and regional job ad growth/decline comparing April 2024 to: i) March 2024 (m/m) and ii) April 2023 (y/y).

REGION INSIGHTS

Waikato was the most populous region to record a rise in job ads (1%), with Auckland (-5%), Wellington (-8%) and Canterbury (-2%) all declining m/m.

In general, ad volumes in the metro regions recorded a greater decline in job ads, falling 6% m/m compared to just 0.2% for the less populous regions. Roles within Professional Services and the Public sector rose in the smaller regions m/m.

Table 2: Month-on-month job ad growth/decline by sector - metro v regional
Figure 2: Major region job ad trends: April 2020 to April 2024.
Figure 3: National SEEK job ad percentage change by region (April 2024 vs March 2024).

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

While job ads in the majority of industries declined in April, some recorded growth, including Insurance & Superannuation (17%) and Education & Training (2%), industries which tend to be less impacted by macro-economic trends.

Job ad volumes within Consumer Services recorded the largest m/m decline, falling 10.5%. This was led by a notable 21% drop in Hospitality & Tourism ads, the greatest decline for the industry in over two years.

Applications per job ad are rising m/m in many industries, but not uniformly. Trades & Services and Information & Communication Technology roles saw a 5% and 8% rise in application per ad respectively. Conversely, applications per job ad for Hospitality & Tourism and Retail & Consumer Products roles fell 14% and 2% respectively.

Figure 4: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by industry (April 2024 vs March 2024) – Ordered by job ad volume.

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