SEEK Employment Trends: construction and tourism fuel New Zealand employment market



With further growth in tourism and construction on the rise, the New Zealand economy is going from strength to strength.


This is good news for the employment market and the latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows another year-on-year lift in job ads.

SEEK job ads were up by 9.9% in October compared to the same time last year. Pete McCauley, Executive Director of recruitment firm Michael Page, says demand is high across most industries in New Zealand and employers may need to work a little harder to attract the best talent. “There is a growing talent shortage across most industries,” he says. “The unemployment rate continues to decline and the labour force participation rate continues to increase. Good candidates are in demand.”

Construction fuels growth


New Zealand’s booming construction industry is having a flow-on effect to related industries. Real estate and property led the way in October, with job ads up 51% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $86,309. McCauley says the growth comes down to the country’s rising population and the growth in residential building. “The volume of work in construction is incredible,” he says.

Trades and services is also benefiting from activity in New Zealand’s construction industry. Job ads were up by 16% compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $59,762. Meanwhile, job ads for the construction industry itself were up by 8% over the same period and the average advertised salary was $99,592. “For every good candidate, there are multiple job opportunities,” says Hugh Lloyd, Director of recruitment firm Lloyd Executive. “They can pretty much pick and choose what they want. Candidates are holding all the cards.”

McCauley adds that employers need to fine-tune both their attraction and retention strategy to be considered an employer of choice. “Remuneration is one point, but progression, promotion and opportunities to grow within an organisation are all things that employers should be considering,” he says.

The tourism attraction


Tourism continues to be a source of economic growth for New Zealand. The latest data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment shows the number of international visitors increased by 11% in the year ending September 2016 and tourism directly contributes $12.9 billion to New Zealand’s total GDP. SEEK data shows job ads for Hospitality and Tourism were up in October by 19% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $50,763.

A growth in job ads for human resources and recruitment is usually a sign of good health in the employment market. SEEK job ads for the industry were up by 25% compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $76,964. “We're certainly seeing an increase in demand for HR advisors, mid-level management and HR business partners,” says McCauley. “We've also seen a number of HR management roles introduced into businesses. Organisations that haven't had an HR function in the past are now recognising how valuable HR is from a strategic and talent development perspective.”

Meanwhile, government and defence job ads were up by 10% compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $80,556. Healthcare and medical grew by 13% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $76,964. Retail and consumer products also saw a lift of 11% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $51,730.

Sales records a slip


The majority of industries recorded year-on-year increases in job ads in October, however there were some that saw a decline. Sales slipped by 4% compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $74,346. Despite this, McCauley is still seeing demand. “More organisations are bringing in client-facing revenue-generation roles to ensure they achieve their budgets in 2017,” he explains. “If you don't have revenue generators in your business, you're going to find it difficult to grow.”

Job ads for legal roles were down by 4% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $79,137. Meanwhile, Insurance and Superannuation declined by 25% over the same period and the average advertised salary was $74,848. Banking and financial services also experienced a decline of 18% and the average advertised salary was $84,966. “The banking and finance sectors are rationalising their teams,’ explains Lloyd.  “They are really focused on exactly what they need to do the job and who they need to do it and its been tightening up for some time.”

Trends across the regions


Janet Faulding, General Manager SEEK New Zealand, notes that the majority of New Zealand regions have seen high levels of job ads relative to the past five years. “There has also been an upward trend in regions such as Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Otago and Marlborough over the past four months,” she adds.

While Wellington has seen moderate levels of job ads relative to the past five years, there has been an upward trend over the past four months. Meanwhile, Canterbury has recorded a downward trend over the past four months despite having high levels of job ads relative to the past five years.

With job ads up across the majority of industries and regions, New Zealand’s employment market is in fine shape. Let’s hope the momentum continues!