SEEK NZ Employment Report - January

  • Job ads rose for the first time since August, up 1% month-on-month (m/m).
  • Applications per job ad rose another 6%, making competition for roles extremely tight.
  • A 20% increase in Manawatu led the national growth in job ads for the month, followed by Auckland (1%).
  • The regions to record a decline m/m were Canterbury (-5%), Northland (-7%) and Marlborough (-12%).
  • Rises in Retail & Consumer Products (10%) and Marketing & Communications (18%) roles drove total job ads up in January.
  • Information & Communication Technology (-5%) and Hospitality & Tourism (-2%) were the largest industries (by job ad volume) to record a decline in job ads.    
*Applications per job ad are recorded with a one-month lag and data shown in this report refers to December data.

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

“Job ad volumes took a positive turn in January, rising for the first time in five months. This was led by a 10% boost in Retail & Consumer jobs, the greatest jump that industry has seen in over two years.  
“Ad levels in Manawatu were up 20%, driven by rises in large hiring industries including Trades & Services and Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics.
“With the population surging over the past year and more people in the country available for work, competition among candidates has become extremely tight, as demonstrated by peaking applications per job ad levels each month.”
Job ads increased for only the third time in 12 months, rising 1% from December.
This was supported by job ad growth in most of the regions, including a significant rise in Manawatu and in the three largest industries.
Applications per job ad continue to rise, up 6% from November to December, when they were already at the highest recorded levels in SEEK history.
Figure 1: National SEEK job ad percentage change m/m January 2023 to January 2024.
Table 1: National and regional job ad growth/decline comparing January 2024 to: i) December 2023 (m/m), ii) January 2023 (y/y).
While not one of the most populous regions, job ads rose by 20% in Manawatu, with notable growth in demand for Trades & Services, Community Services & Development and Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics workers.
Canterbury (-5%), Northland (-7%) and Marlborough (-12%) recorded declines in job ads whereas all other regions increased m/m.
Jobs in Southland have attracted the greatest increase in interest from candidates over the past six months, with applications per job ad levels now 35% higher than they were in June.  Wellington
(32%) and Auckland (30%) have recorded the next greatest increases.
Table 2: Applications per job ad: June 2023 to January 2024.


Figure 2: Major region job ad trends: January 2020 to January 2024. Index: 100 = 2013 avg
Figure 3: National SEEK job ad percentage change by region (January 2024 vs December 2023).
Demand for workers in Retail & Consumer Products rose 10% in January, the largest jump in ad volumes for the industry since December 2021. In fact, roles within the broader Consumer Services sector grew to the greatest degree, with Real Estate & Property (8%) and Call Centre & Customer Services roles (6%) also increasing m/m.
Banking & Financial Services recorded the greatest growth in demand, rising 27% from December, followed by Marketing & Communications (18%).
Despite the overall increase in demand, job ads for Information & Communication Technology roles continued to decline, dropping 5% m/m.
Applications per job ad have increased in almost all industries, including Healthcare & Medical (11%), Information & Communication Technology (11%) and Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics (4%).
Figure 4: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by industry (January 2024 vs December 2023) – ordered by job ad volume.


The SEEK Employment Report provides a comprehensive overview of the New Zealand employment marketplace. The report includes the SEEK New Job Ad Index, which measures only new job ads posted within the reported month to provide a clean measure of demand for labour across all classifications. SEEK’s total job ad volume (not disclosed in this report) includes duplicated job advertisements and refreshed job ads. As a result, the SEEK New Job Ad Index does not always match the movement in SEEK’s total job ad volume.


(1) The SEI may differ to the job ad count on SEEK’s website due to a number of factors including: a) seasonal adjustments applied to the SEI; b) the exclusion of duplicated job ads from the SEI; and c) the exclusion of Company Listings (included under Company Profiles) from the SEI

(2) The Covid-19 pandemic led to a high level of volatility in labour market data between April 2020 and March 2022. As a result, caution is recommended when interpreting trend estimates during this period as large month-to-month changes in variables generated multiple trend breaks

(3) The applications per ad index contains a series break at Jan 2016 when the calculation of this series changed from using gross variables (inclusive of all SEEK job listings) to net variables (removing duplicate job listings). This change has a negligible impact on recent data points, but caution is recommended when interpreting data immediately following the series break, and particularly in 2016 where growth rates have not been adjusted for the series break.


The Data should be viewed and regarded as standalone information and should not be aggregated with any other information whether such information has been previously provided by SEEK Limited, ("SEEK"). The Data is given in summary form and whilst care has been taken in its preparation, SEEK makes no representations whatsoever about its completeness or accuracy. SEEK expressly bears no responsibility or liability for any reliance placed by you on the Data, or from the use of the Data by you. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately.