SEEK Employment Trends: construction and tourism continue to rise



November delivered more positive news for the New Zealand employment market with SEEK job ads on the rise across the majority of industries. Experts say good candidates are in hot demand and companies need to fine-tune their recruitment process in order to attract the best talent.


The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows job ads increased by 9.3% in November compared to the same time last year. Megan Alexander, New Zealand General Manager of recruitment firm Robert Half, notes that competition for talent is hotting up and companies need to be swift in making an offer when they find the right candidates. “There is a labour shortage and hiring managers who delay their process are losing candidates and then have to start all over again,” she says. “As a result, we've seen an increase in our temporary and contractor market because it's taking longer to fill permanent roles.”

Construction continues to rise


New Zealand’s robust construction sector saw a further increase in job ads in November. They were up by 30% and the average advertised salary was $100,019. “Wherever you look in Auckland, you’re sure to see cranes in the skyline,” says Lee Tyrrell, Director of recruitment firm Franklin Smith. “There are more residential towers being built than ever before and infrastructure spending is up. This means there are more projects in the pipeline and many companies are finding they have to work harder to find the right candidates.”

In related industries, trades and services saw year-on-year job ad growth of 27% and the average advertised salary was $62,192. Job ads for engineering were up by 18% and the average advertised salary was $92, 496. Meanwhile, real estate and property increased by 6% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $86,297.

Tourism remains strong


New Zealand’s hospitality and tourism industry continued to see a growth in job ads in November. Tourism alone employs more than 7% of the New Zealand workforce and contributes $12.9 billion to the nation’s GDP. The latest data from SEEK suggests the industry is in good shape with job ads up by 9% year-on-year and an average advertised salary of $53,649.

In a further sign of a healthy job market, human resources and recruitment also experienced a year-on-year growth in job ads. They were up by 23% and the average advertised salary was $80,804. “We’re seeing a growth in demand across almost every industry, so it makes sense that HR roles are up because companies need to develop recruitment strategies,” explains Tyrrell.

Meanwhile, the accounting industry also experienced a 10% increase in job ads in November and the average advertised salary was $76,368. Alexander says an increase in automation is driving demand for candidates who can add greater value. “Automation of many accounting roles means that candidates need to do more than crunch numbers,” she explains. “Sharp analytical skills are in demand.”

A slip in some sectors

While the majority of industries experienced year-on-year growth in SEEK job ads in November, some saw a decline. Job ads for the banking and financial services sector slipped by 2% and the average advertised salary was $84,827. “The banking and financial sectors are streamlining their operations,” says Tyrrell. “Many of the bigger banks also have good internal systems to promote from within.”

The information and communication technology industry also saw a decline of 2% and the average advertised salary was $94,401. Despite this, Alexander says the industry is in good shape. “We’re seeing very strong demand and we expect the growth to continue,” she says.

Meanwhile, job ads for advertising, arts and media were down by 4% and the average advertised salary was $69,432. Government and defence also saw a decline of 14% and the average advertised salary was $77,694.

Trends across the regions

Janet Faulding General Manager of SEEK New Zealand, says the outlook remains positive for candidates in Auckland. “Job ads on SEEK for Auckland, New Zealand’s largest labour market, have been firm and steady in November, up 11% year-on-year,” she says.

Job ad growth also remained strong relative to the past five years in Bay of Plenty, Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. These regions have also seen an upward trend in job ads over the past four months.

While the level of job ads in Canterbury has been high relative to the past five years, they have been experiencing a downward trend over the past four months. In good news for Wellington, while job ad levels have been moderate relative to the past five years, the region has seen an upward trend over the past four months.

With the job market across New Zealand showing little sign of slowing down, experts say companies may need to sharpen up their recruitment strategies for the New Year. Good candidates are getting multiple offers and we’re also seeing more counter offers in the market,” says Alexander. “You need to have a smooth process in place so you’re ready for the right candidates.”

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