SEEK NZ quarterly employment report - smaller regions lead the pack


  • SEEK job ad listings have softened, down 1.1% compared to Q4 2018
  • The average advertised salary in New Zealand is $80,822, up by 1.7%
  • Sectors with the highest job ad growth include: Community Services & Development (23%), Consulting & Strategy (13.2%) and Government & Defence (12.1%)
  • The top four industries showing salary growth include: Insurance & Superannuation (6.1%), Advertising, Arts & Media (5.2%), Legal (5%) and Administration & Office Support (5%)


Job ad growth has remained strong in key regional areas, with increases in Gisborne (14.5%), Taranaki (13.5%) and Tasman (9.5%)
The West Coast (12.5%) and Hawkes Bay (4.5%) led salary growth y/y.

The SEEK New Zealand Employment Report identifies a slight dip in job ads in comparison to the same period in 2018 with a downturn of 1.1% in jobs advertised year on year.

SEEK New Zealand General Manager, Janet Faulding says: “Although job ad growth has softened by 1.1% for New Zealand, the regions are performing well, showing positive job ad growth in the last quarter of the decade in Gisborne, Taranaki, Tasman, Northland, Wellington and Hawkes Bay, Southland, Manawatu, West Coast and Waikato. This indicates plenty of opportunity for job seekers in these areas as we look to the new year.

“Gisborne, which was up 14.5%, saw plenty of activity across multiple industry sectors including Trades and Services, Community Services & Development, Administration and Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics. Taranaki saw Healthcare & Medical and Trades & Services sectors contributing to job ad growth, which was up 13.5% for the quarter,” says Ms Faulding.

A slight softening in job ad listings should not be reason for worry as yet, says BNZ’s Senior Economist, Craig Ebert.

“Rather than being widely experienced across the country, the softening is clearly being affected by a resumed fall in Canterbury. Counter to that, 10 out of the 15 regions measured in the Employment Report are still trending higher than the same quarter a year ago,” says Mr Ebert.


Figure 1: Job ad growth by region October - December 2019 vs October - December 2018


Figure 2: Job ad growth by industry October - December 2019 vs October - December 2018



New Zealand’s average advertised salary shows an increase of 1.7% to $80,822. While the three major cities (Auckland 1.9%, Canterbury 1.3% and Wellington 1%) all experienced salary growth, the biggest increases are apparent in the regions of the West Coast (12.5%), Hawkes Bay (4.5%) and Otago (3.7%). 

Table 1: SEEK advertised salaries October - December 2019 vs October - December 2018.

By industry, Insurance & Superannuation salaries saw the highest surge compared to Q4 2018 (averaging an 6.1% increase) followed by Advertising, Arts & Media (averaging a 5.2% increase). 

Table 2: Biggest percentage growth of average advertised salaries by sector October - December 2019 vs October - December 2018.

MEDIA NOTE: When reporting SEEK data, we request that you attribute SEEK as the source.