SEEK Employment Snapshot - latest restrictions having an impact

This snapshot complements the SEEK Employment Trends report that is released quarterly. SEEK is publishing regular insights based on job ad movements compared to a pre-COVID baseline of February 2020. 

Key insights (weeks 32 & 33 compared to February 2020):

  • New job ads posted on SEEK NZ during the fortnight ended 16 August are 65.1% of pre-COVID levels
  • Job ad volume dropped 15.7% last week with the return of restrictions
  • The biggest contributors to job ad volume are Trades & Services, Information & Communication Technology, Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics and Construction
  • Wellington (73.7%), Canterbury (71.4%) and Auckland (54.0%) have all declined in the last two weeks 

Latest restrictions having a noticeable impact to job ad numbers 

Janet Faulding, General Manager SEEK NZ comments: “As we returned to level 3 restrictions in Auckland and level 2 across the rest of the country, we saw impacts to job ad numbers immediately. The previous fortnight’s job ad volumes were up 11.7%, but last week’s numbers alone saw a 15.7% drop in job ads across New Zealand.

“All industries have seen a decline in the last week. The employment data below shows the sectors which have the largest volume of jobs. Although we measure job ad volume on a rolling fortnight basis you can see the impact of last week’s reintroduction of restrictions has had on the job ad market.  

“The major regions have also been impacted, but unsurprisingly Auckland has been hit the hardest, which really reiterates how connected the restrictions are to the employment market”


Figure one: SEEK new job ads for 2020 


Consumer services and construction have taken a hit 

Consumer Services industries, which includes the 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 sectors were hardest hit at the height of the restrictions in March and April, and have been impacted significantly in the latest round of restrictions. Prior to the latest restrictions, Consumer Services roles were at 58.0% when compared with pre-COVID levels, and now they are down 6.2% to with 51.8%. 

Whilst all sectors have taken a backward step, another notable sector that has been impacted is Construction, which has also dropped significantly from 78.9% to 69.5% of job ad volume decline.  

Where the jobs are 

  • Trades & Services: roles such as Labourers, Automotive Trades, Building Trades and Technicians
  • Information & Communication Technology: Developers/ Programmers, Software Engineering, Business/ Systems Analysts, Help Desk & IT Support and Project Management 
  • Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics: Warehousing, Storage & Distribution, Assembly & Process Work, Machine Operators and Road Transport
  • Healthcare & Medical: Psychology, Counselling & Social Work and Nursing (Aged Care and General Medical), Physiotherapy, OT & Rehabilitation
  • Construction: Despite the decline since restrictions were reintroduced, there are still Foreperson/ Supervisors, Plant & Machinery Operators, Project Management and Surveying jobs being advertised on SEEK.