SEEK Employment Trends New Zealand: community services and development leading the pack, with job ads up 43%



New Zealand’s new financial year got off to a positive start with data from SEEK Employment Trends showing a year-on-year increase in jobs in April 2016. The community services and development sector was out in front, government and defence came in second and the legal profession was close behind.


National job ad volumes on SEEK increased by 3.5% in April 2016 compared to the same time last year. “We’re seeing good demand across a number of sectors,” says Lee Tyrrell, Managing Consultant with recruitment firm Franklin Smith. “Construction is looking good, particularly in Auckland, and there’s a flow-on effect to other sectors.”

Industries in the spotlight


The community services and development sector recorded a year-on-year increase in SEEK job ads of 43% for April 2016. The average advertised salary was $62,002 and candidate availability has been tightening in recent months.

Iain MacGibbon, Managing Director of recruitment firm Farrow Jamieson, says the increase in job ads may be due to a growth in funding. “I suspect more organisations in this sector have been able to go to market in April because they’ve been given more funds for the new financial year,” he says.

However, Tyrrell says the increase may also be due to a growing focus on social equality. “A world-class country is not just about having great infrastructure, it’s about having people living there who are happy and who have opportunities,” he says. “I think there’s a lot of issues around that at the moment.”

Construction growth continues


New Zealand’s construction boom continued to have a positive impact on SEEK job ads for the sector, which experienced year-on-year growth of 27%. Candidate availability has been tightening over the past four months, with the average advertised salary sitting at $97,540.

Tyrrell notes that other industries are also feeling the impact of the country’s vibrant construction industry. “A number of big construction projects have kicked off and that money flows through other sectors,” he says. “If you’re going to build 3000 houses outside of Auckland, for example, you need to have shops and schools to support them.”

Indeed, the retail and consumer products sector was also up for April 2016, recording a year-on-year increase in SEEK job ads of 16%. The average advertised salary was $51,514 and candidate availability remained stable. Meanwhile, job ads for the education and training sector rose by 18% year-on-year and candidate availability was also stable. The average advertised salary was $67,780.

Ads up for senior management


SEEK job ads for CEO and general management roles saw an increase of 19% compared to the same time last year and candidate availability has tightened in recent months. MacGibbon says demand is particularly high for senior leaders with a track record for business development.

“The last five years following the GFC have been dominated by cost control and operational efficiency, and some of the people in these senior positions don’t have the experience in growing new opportunities,” he says. “There is now demand for CEOs who can show that they can grow business and explore new markets with calculated risk.”

The accounting industry also experienced an increase in SEEK job ads in April, rising by 7% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $75,691. While candidate availability is high, it has been tightening over the past few months.

“The accounting market has been flat for almost five years and, post-GFC, many mid-level roles were removed and automated,” explains MacGibbon. “They have now come back in a different fashion as data analysis roles and are more about business information. The classic mid-level accountant role has turned into a high-growth area in the sector for people who can understand information and manipulate it, not just put it from one place to the next.”

Rise and fall: banking and financial services fell


Not all sectors saw year-on-year increases in job ads for April 2016. Banking and financial services experienced a decline of 15%, compared to the same time last year, and the average advertised salary was $77,745. While job ads for the insurance and superannuation sector were also down by 7% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $72,830.

Meanwhile, the advertising, arts and media sector saw the greatest year-on-year decline in April 2016. While candidate availability has been increasing in recent months, SEEK job ads were down by 26% and the average advertised salary was $68,659. MacGibbon notes the decline in job ads may be due to a fragmentation of the industry. “Classic roles are disappearing or being moved around, and the marketing sector is now taking a slice of the advertising market,” he says

Regions in the spotlight


April delivered good news for Wellington, where job ads rose sharply to help offset declines in recent months. Candidate availability has been tightening in the region over the past four months.

Canterbury also saw an increase in job ads on SEEK and candidate availability remained stable. The volume of job ads were down slightly for Auckland in April and the region has experienced a tightening of candidate availability in recent months; however, Tyrrell notes the region’s job market remains in good shape.

With the new financial year underway, it was encouraging to see year-on-year job ad growth across the majority of sectors in New Zealand.


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