SEEK Employment Snapshot - a slowly improving labour market

This snapshot complements the SEEK Employment Trends report. SEEK will publish regular insights based on job ad movements compared to a baseline of April 2020.

Key insights (weeks 21 & 22 compared to April 2020):

  • New job ads posted on SEEK NZ during the fortnight ended 31 May are up 92.7% compared to the April 2020 average
  • The biggest contributors to job ad growth are Trades & Services, Healthcare & Medical, Retail & Consumer Products, Administration and Office Support and Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics
  • Canterbury (88%), Auckland (87%) and Wellington (86%) are showing the largest increases in job ad volumes 
  • Roles within Consumer Services are showing the biggest growth of 175% making up 22% of all new opportunities advertised on SEEK 

A slowly improving labour market 

Janet Faulding, General Manager SEEK NZ comments: “In the fortnight ended 31 May we saw an increase in job advertising of 92.7% compared to the average of the month of April. Whilst that looks like a big number it is a long way short of where we were pre-COVID, but is a positive sign compared to the low in April.”

“In the last two weeks we have seen growth in the Retail & Consumer Products sector by almost four times the volume of the April average. As one of the sectors hardest hit by restrictions, it’s good to see a positive shift, and this is translating into job opportunities. Roles such as retail assistants, store management and merchandisers. 

“Retail was one of the positive contributors to the Consumer Services category, which has seen growth of 174%, making up 22% of all new job opportunities advertised on SEEK in last two weeks.

“There are also some promising signs in the regions, with the majority of showing an increase in job ad volumes compared to April. Canterbury (88%), Auckland (87%) and Wellington (86%) showed positive job ad volume growth in the last two weeks.

Figure one: SEEK new job ads for 2020 


Industry Sectors

The Consumer Services sector continues to grow, showing an increase of 175% in the last two weeks compared to the April average, and making up 22% of the total new jobs advertised on SEEK. As you can see below (figure two) roles within Consumer Services visibly contracted from mid-March but are starting to return (figure three). 

Consumer Services include 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. These sectors were hardest hit by lockdown restrictions, and as we see restrictions ease this is translating to an uptick in job ad volumes.  

Other sectors also showed positive growth, and include:  

  • Public Sector increasing 95% making up 24% of new job ads;
  • Construction increasing 81% making up 21%;
  • Industrial 75% making up 10% and;
  • Professional Services increasing 66% making up 23%.

Figure two: SEEK new job ads percentage total by sectors for 2020 


Figure three: SEEK new job ads by grouped sectors for 2020 


Where the jobs are

  • Trades & Services: roles such as Building Trades, Labourers, Automotive Trades and Electricians
  • Information & Communication Technology: Developers/ Programmers, Business/ Systems Analysts, Software Engineering, and Project Management 
  • Healthcare & Medical: Psychology, Counselling & Social Work and Nursing (Aged Care and General Medical)
  • Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics: Warehousing, Storage & Distribution, Machine Operators and Assembly & Process Work 
  • Construction: Project Management, Foreperson/ Supervisors, Plant & Machinery Operators and Surveying

Figure four: Weeks 21 & 22 new job ad difference compared to April 2020 average


Sector breakdowns:

  • Consumer Services is comprised of 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
  • Public Sector is comprised of Education & Training, Healthcare & Medical, Community Services & Development and Government & Defence
  • Construction is comprised of Trades & Services, Construction, Engineering and Design and Architecture 
  • Professional Services is comprised of Accounting, Human Resources & Recruitment, Marketing & Communications, Banking & Financial Services, Legal, Science & Technology, Consulting & Strategy, Information & Communication Technology and insurance & Superannuation 
  • Industrial is comprised of Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Farming, Animals & Conservation and Mining, Resources & Energy.