Job ad numbers offer early sense of stability
How is your industry faring for job ad growth? BNZ Senior Economist Craig Ebert brings you the latest insights.

Job ads have been tentatively steadying after a recent moderation. Across the regions, Canterbury is weighing on national totals, while Wellington remains positive. See how the trends could impact you in this month’s employment snapshot.

Signs of stability in job ads

New job advertising numbers are now offering a sense of stability, after trend slippage since the start of 2019. It’s early days. However, the trend measure in August posted its first increase in eight months. And while the seasonally adjusted index slipped 0.3% in the month, it was up 0.2% on year-ago levels. In all of this, there‘s a sense of hanging in there.

Regional variety

This was occurring in spite of a negative trend remaining clear in Canterbury, while Auckland’s kept easing off very gradually. In contrast, Wellington – like most of the smaller regions – retained a positive trend in job ads, though not nearly as strong as it was early this year.

Government & Defence sector strong

Looking across the industries, Government & Defence has been very much on the up. Other government-related industries maintained positive annual growth, too – Community Services & Development leads the way, while the Education & Training and Healthcare & Medical sectors have also posted increases in job ads.

Sales sector job ads down

Sales retained one of the weakest trends by industry type. And while many property-related sectors continued to drift lower – including Design & Architecture and the Real Estate & Property industry itself – the Construction sector was more flat.

Business view on hiring dimming

Even with signs of stability in job ads for now, broadly speaking we remain cautious on their path. This is mainly because of the dimming outlook we’re seeing from NZ businesses, with respect to their hiring intentions. It hasn’t reflected in weakening labour market data yet – the June quarter updates were strong. But we’ll be watching for any evidence of slowing employment growth, and/or a rising unemployment rate.