Job ads boom as employers gear up for holiday season
As October drew to a close, New Zealand had a new Prime Minister after weeks of speculation and uncertainty. It also received a further boost to its employment market with the latest data from SEEK Employment Trends revealing further year-on-year growth in job advertising.

New Zealand’s labour market has gone from strength to strength in recent months and the positive results look set to continue in the lead up to the festive season. Job ads on SEEK rose 9.5% compared to the same time last year and the positive news extended across all major regions.

Much of the strength was driven by demand for tradespeople, as well as candidates in manufacturing, transport and logistics. Both industries experienced a surge in job ads in October, however growth was also seen in 23 of the 29 industries on SEEK. This suggests employers are putting recruitment plans in place ahead of the busy festive season and New Year.

Industries leading the way

Trades and services overtook information and communications technology (ICT) in October to become the leading industry for job opportunities on SEEK. Job ads for the industry grew 21% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $59,126.

The fields across the industry that showed most demand for candidates were automotive trades (up 18% year-on-year), labourers (up 27% year-on-year) and building trades (up 21% year-on-year).

The manufacturing, transport and logistics industry was the third-largest advertiser on SEEK in October and recorded further growth of 51% year-on-year. The average advertised salary for the industry was $66,990.

Janet Faulding, General Manager for SEEK New Zealand, says that within the industry, job ads for warehousing, storage and distribution rose 43% year-on-year and opportunities for machine operators were up by 69% over the same period. “The field of assembly and process work also saw an increase of 141% year-on-year,” she says.

Real estate and property remains flat

When compared to the same time last year, job ad levels for real estate and property remained flat for the three-month period of August to October, however there was a sharp spike in demand across some areas of the industry. These included small and niche fields, such as property analysts, which rose 92 per cent year-on-year, as well as commercial sales, leasing and property management, which saw an increase of 14% year-on-year.

“New Zealand’s property market has lost some of its heat, especially in the run up to, and through, September’s general election due to uncertainty over the forming of the new Government,” said Faulding. “It’s been widely reported by the media that the New Zealand property sales activity and growth price will remain subdued into 2018, given uncertainty around the impact of the new Government housing policies.”

Despite this uncertainty, the average advertised salary across the industry for August to October remained unchanged from last year, with a figure of $85,211.

Trends across the regions

Job ad growth was experienced across all major regions on SEEK in October.

Canterbury recorded its eighth consecutive month of annual advertising growth. Job ads grew by 3.9 per cent compared to the same time last year and industries such as trades and services and manufacturing, transport and logistics offered the most job opportunities across the region.

“In Canterbury, manufacturing, transport and logistics also enjoyed strong job ad growth this October, up 66%,” says Faulding.

Opportunities in Auckland rose 4.6% year-on-year and ICT was its top advertising industry, followed by manufacturing transport and logistics and trades and services.

“Industries that had fast job ad growth on SEEK across Auckland in October were legal (up 36 per cent year-on-year), community services and development (up 34 per cent year-on-year) and manufacturing, transport and logistics (up 29 per cent year-on-year),” adds Faulding..

The rate of growth in Wellington was slower in October, however prospects still rose 3.9% year-on-year. ICT was also the top advertising industry across the region, followed by administration and office support and trades and services. 

“Solid advertising growth on SEEK was enjoyed by the manufacturing, transport and Logistics industry in Wellington,” says Faulding. “Year-on-year growth reached up 91%.

Meanwhile, the fastest job ad growth across the country was recorded in by the smaller North and South Island region, however Faulding notes this was off a much lower base compared to Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury.

New Zealand’s employment market continued to show strength with further increases on SEEK in October. With a new Prime Minister and a new year fast approaching, let’s hope the growth continues.