SEEK Employment Trends: New Zealand job ads up 7%, with consulting and strategy performing best

June 2016 delivered more positive results for New Zealand’s employment market with job ads on SEEK rising by 7% year-on-year. Growth was experienced across the majority of industries and the consulting and strategy sector was out in front.

Richard Street, Account Director Client Solutions with recruitment firm Randstad, describes the current job market as strong. “In New Zealand, we tend to get hit by the dairy price but although that’s quite weak at the moment, the rest of the economy is looking quite strong. Businesses are confident and that’s being reflected in the employment market.”

Sectors on the rise

SEEK job ads for the consulting and strategy sector remain strong relative to the past five years and have been increasing in recent months. They were up by 53% year-on-year in June 2016 and the average advertised salary was $105,533. Street notes that demand for these roles is particularly strong within large transformation projects. “Change and transformation are now day-to-day projects, especially in Wellington where there is a lot of government roles because the public sector is trying to become more customer-centric,” he says.

The real estate and property sector also delivered positive results in June 2016 with SEEK job ads rising by 35%, while the average advertised salary was $81,546. The sector has seen strong levels of job ads relative to the past five years and this has remained constant in recent months.

“The residential property market is going great guns in Auckland,” says Street. “It’s slowing down a little bit in Christchurch.”

SEEK job ads for the trades and services sector were up by 21% year-on-year, with an average advertised salary of $58,574; and job ads for New Zealand’s construction industry rose by 6%, with the average advertised salary for construction sitting at $95,530.

Street says that while construction remains strong in Auckland, it is easing in other regions. “Figures from the Canterbury Development Corporation show that the construction market in Christchurch is plateauing,” he says. “I also think that Auckland is sucking a lot of the talent from Christchurch.”

New Zealand’s human resources and recruitment sector experienced a year-on-year increase in job ads of 17% and the average advertised salary was $82,236. Sean Walters, Director of recruitment firm Rice Consulting, says that demand for the sector is strong but the nature of the market is changing.

“Five years ago, the vast majority of HR and recruitment roles were permanent opportunities,” he says. “Now I think five of the last seven roles I filled were on a contract or fixed-term basis. We’re seeing a big shift – people are starting to see the benefits of having a contingent workforce because of the need to be increasingly agile.”

A slip in some sectors

While the good news for June 2016 was shared across the majority of sectors, some saw a year-on-year decline. SEEK job ads for New Zealand’s education and training sector were down by 16% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $68,164. The sports and recreation sector also experienced a 16% decline in SEEK job ads compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $63,125.

The banking and financial services sector has seen moderate levels of job ads on SEEK relative to the past five years. In June 2016, job ads for the sector were down by 19% compared to the same time last year. The average advertised salary was $86,670. Despite the decline, Street says the banking sector is in good shape. “It’s a steady sector. Banking employs around 25,000 people in the country and that figure hasn’t really changed in recent years,” he says.

Trends across the regions

SEEK job ads remain strong in Auckland and have been increasing over the past four months. “Auckland is just booming,” says Street. “We’re also seeing a lot of migration to the city.”

Job ads in Otago have also been increasing in recent months, and while ads in Canterbury have been strong relative to the past five years, they have been easing over the past four months. Janet Faulding, SEEK New Zealand General Manager, adds that job ads in Wellington have been experiencing an upward trend in recent months.

“There has been some momentum in job ad growth over the first half of the calendar year,” she says. Let’s hope the momentum continues.

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