20
Apr
2016
article

SEEK Employment Trends New Zealand: March brings positive momentum, with CEO and general management leading the charge

The New Zealand job market regained its positive momentum in March 2016 with the latest data from SEEK Employment Trends showing a year-on-year increase in SEEK job ads of 5.2%.

The country’s booming construction sector continued to see growth, and sectors such as CEO and general management delivered some of the most interesting results for the month.

A growth in SEEK job ads was seen across the majority of industries in March 2016. John Harland, director of ERG Recruitment Group, believes this comes down to business confidence. Harland predicts this confidence will become even stronger in the months ahead. “This is coming through in the employment intentions in the upcoming quarters,” he says.

Trends across the sectors

The CEO and general management sector led the way in SEEK job ad increases in March 2016, growing by 59% year-on-year and candidate availability has been tightening over the past four months.

Harland says the growth in SEEK job ads for these senior management roles may be due to an increasing number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement.

“Baby Boomers are generally a financially-independent group by now and, while they‘re living longer, there’s a finite time that they can work,” he says. “Many are reaching ages of 65–70 and I think that’s driving demand in that top echelon of jobs.”

New Zealand’s construction industry experienced a 19% year-on-year increase in SEEK job ads in March 2016 and the average advertised salary for the sector was $95,787. Harland describes the sector as booming. “There’s a lot of infrastructure work being done, although it is slowing down somewhat in Christchurch,” he says. “Auckland has good demand for that sector and there’s also growth in residential construction.”

While the manufacturing, transport and logistics sector experienced a year-on-year increase in SEEK job ads of only 2%, Harland predicts strong growth in the months ahead. The average advertised salary was $66,054 and there has been an increasing level of candidate availability in recent months.

Manufacturers are looking at exporting again,” says Harland. “This is becoming profitable for them, whereas when the dollar is strong it can hold them back. I think it’s a sector to watch.”

Although the majority of sectors saw a growth in SEEK job ads in March 2016, some experienced a slip. Banking and financial services, for example, was down by 12% year-on-year. The average advertised salary for the sector in March 2016 was $80,042 and candidate availability has been stable over the past four months.

While tourism is currently one of the greatest drivers of the New Zealand economy, March 2016 saw a 5% year-on-year decline in SEEK job ads for the hospitality and tourism sector. Harland says this result may simply represent a small decline in a booming industry. The average advertised salary for the hospitality and tourism sector was $54,863 and candidate availability has been tightening in recent months.

A snapshot of the regions

Auckland continued to lead the way in term of SEEK job ads in March 2016 and there has been an upward trend across the region for the past four months. SEEK job ads for CEO and general management roles were up by 97% year-on-year, and the consulting and strategy sector saw an increase of 58% compared to the same time last year. “Auckland is the major driver of the New Zealand economy,” says Harland.

In good news for Wellington, SEEK job ads are now broadly stable after trends showing a mild decline in the middle of last year. The region’s insurance and superannuation sector was out in front, with job ads increasing by 131% year-on-year, while education and training was down by 22% in Wellington compared to the same time last year.

Canterbury appears to be experiencing a declining trend, with job ads down for the past four months. However, sectors such as community services and development saw a 43% year-on-year increase in SEEK job ads in the region, and banking and financial services was up by 7%.

Candidate availability

Applications per job ad declined only slightly in March 2016; however, there is a high yet stable level of candidate availability in Auckland, and an average and stable number of candidates in Canterbury. While the level of candidates in Wellington remains high, there has been a tightening of availability in the region over the past four months.

Sectors such as construction, and design and architecture have experienced a reduction in candidate availability over the past four months; however, the opposite is the case for industries such as information and communications technology, and human resources and recruitment, which have seen increases in candidate availability over the same period.

The year-on-year growth in job ads on SEEK was shared across the majority of sectors in March 2016. Let’s hope this positive momentum continues in the months ahead.

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