SEEK NZ - 2021 Year in review


  • Job ads reached record levels for five consecutive months from March to July.
  • Applications per job ad dropped to record levels in June and saw further decline from September to November.
  • Information & Communications Technology and Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics were the two biggest hiring industries, both increasing 46% y/y.


Record-breaking job ad numbers, lowest ever applications per job ad and further lockdowns impacting the labour market summarises 2021 for New Zealand.

Record-breaking job ad numbers: From March to July 2021, SEEK reported five consecutive months of record-breaking job ad numbers. In July job ads were up 88% compared to July 2020 before the reintroduction of restrictions halted the  m/m upward trend.

Applications per job ad decline: Applications reached record lows in November, although the m/m decline softened since July. This was caused by a nation of workers more conscious of job security than ever before and a smaller talent pool available to fill roles.

Lockdown impact on the labour market: The extended lockdown in the country’s biggest city of Auckland impacted not only roles within that city, but resulted in ripple effects across the nation. The Consumer Services sector was impacted swiftest and hardest as a result of restrictions, but was also the first to rebound, demonstrating a 70% uplift in job ads y/y.

The top four industries of 2021 in terms of the number of jobs, and their percentage increase comparing the last three months to the same three months last year were:

  1. Information & Communications Technology (up 46% y/y)
  2. Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics (up 46% y/y)
  3. Trades & Services (up 18% y/y)
  4. Healthcare & Medical (up 49% y/y)

Commenting on changes in the labour market this year, SEEK NZ Country Manager, Rob Clark says: “2021 was another rollercoaster on the employment front, with job ads exceeding historical records again and again between May and July.

“Despite lockdowns disrupting the market, job ads remained above pre-pandemic levels from March onwards, with particular growth in the ICT and Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics industries.

“The decline in applications per job ad eased in the latter half of the year and we expect some positive movement there in early 2022 as workers return from Summer holidays and begin looking at new roles in earnest.”

Figure 1: National SEEK NZ Job Ad and applications per job ad trends since 2013.

Click for the latest SEEK Employment Report data or for more employment insights or career advice please visit SEEK’s Hiring Advice or SEEK's Career Advice

MEDIA NOTE: When reporting SEEK NZ data, we request that you attribute SEEK NZ as the source and refer to SEEK NZ as an employment marketplace.