BNZ/SEEK Employment Report - a softer end to the year
Job advertising ended 2019 on a weaker note, falling a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in December. After slight declines in October and November, this dragged the trend measure into moderately negative territory. The fall in December’s job advertising also meant for a 1.1% decline over calendar 2019 as a whole. This continued a slowdown that’s been underway since growth in 2016 hit 10.6%, moderated to 8.5% over the course of 2017 and decelerated further, to 5.2%, during 2018.
The softening in job ads over recent months has reflected resumed weakness in New Zealand’s second most populous region, Canterbury. This follows a period into the middle of 2019 when its figures appeared to be finding their feet, having fallen a lot since 2018. Wellington and Bay of Plenty retained slightly negative trends while Auckland was closer to stable. Many of the smaller regions managed to see moderately positive trends into the close of 2019.
By industry, Construction was clearly trending lower again in 2019 (while its seasonally adjusted results traced a sharper line lower). In addition, Banking & Financial Services and Science & Technology were receding. On the other side of the coin, job advertising for positions in ICT ended 2019 with something of a spike higher.
An overall sense of caution was reflected in the fact advertising for full-time positions weakened over the final months of 2019 (notably so in seasonally adjusted form). Part-time numbers, on the other hand, strengthened.