SEEK NZ quarterly employment report - impact of Covid-19 on NZ employment becomes clearer


  • SEEK job ad listings have dropped, down -11.0% nationally compared to Q1 2019

  • Comparing Q1 2019 to Q1 2020;

    • Only four industries demonstrated job ad growth, being; Community Services & Development (16.0%), Government & Defence (8.4%), Farming, Animals & Conservation (3.2%) and Banking & Financial Services (1.6%) 

    • Industries showing the greatest decline in job ads were Engineering (-24%), Science and technology (-22.8%), Sales (-21.9%), Call Centre & Customer Services (-19.4%) and Construction (-18.8%)

    • The average advertised salary in New Zealand is $82,576, up by 3.4% 


  • Three regions saw job ad growth; Gisborne, Manawatu and Tasman, up 3.5%, 0.8% and 0.4% year on year to Q1 2020. 
  • The rest of the country experienced a decline. Those areas hardest hit were: West Coast (-20.3%), Canterbury (-18.7%), Otago (-15.2%), Bay of Plenty and Marlborough (-12.6%) and Auckland (-11.8%). 

The SEEK New Zealand Employment Report for Q1 2020 shows a downturn in job ads in comparison to the same period in 2019 with -11.0% fewer jobs advertised year on year. 

SEEK New Zealand General Manager, Janet Faulding says:

“The impact of COVID-19 on the employment market has been swift and extreme with quarter one showing an -11% decline in job listings compared to the same time last year. The drop in job advertising accelerated in March. Over 85% of job sectors on have seen a drastic drop in listings advertised.

“While the drop has been dramatic and the impact on the employment market, significant, there is still some demand for workers. 

“Community Services and Development continue to show a strong demand for workers, as is the agricultural sector (Farming, Animals and Conservation). New Zealand boasts an impressive primary sector that continues to function even during the lockdown. This is likely to be linked to regions such as Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty seeing a rise in job listings during this time,” says Ms Faulding.


Figure 1: Job ad percentage change by region January - March 2020 vs January - March 2019


Figure 2: Job ad percentage change by industry January - March 2020 vs January - March 2019




New Zealand’s average advertised salary increased by 3.4% to $82,576. The greatest jump in advertised salary came from the regions of Gisborne, up 9.3%, Bay of Plenty up 6.6% and Taranaki up 4.8%. The major cities also posted advertised salary growth; Auckland up 2.8%, Canterbury up 3.2% and Wellington up 4.3%.

Table 1: SEEK advertised salaries January - March 2020 vs January - March 2019

Download SEEK Employment Data 

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