SEEK Employment Trends New Zealand: retail sector strong heading into shopping season

As the country gears up for the festive season, the spotlight shifts to the retail sector.

The latest data from SEEK shows the retail industry has been one of the most positive sectors over the past year in terms of the employment opportunities, with year-on-year new job ads up 9% to October 2015.

The New Zealand retail sector got a further boost of confidence when retail giant Topshop opened its doors in Auckland’s Queens Street in March, and it’s been confirmed Cantabrians are in for a wardrobe update with Topshop opening in early 2017 in the CBD’s Crossing precinct.

Janet Faulding, General Manager of SEEK New Zealand said “It’s encouraging to see both local and international retailers making a commitment to set up shop across the country, which is offering career opportunities for people at an entry level, as well as at more senior retail levels.”

Hallensteins and Glassons have also committed to setting up permanent stores in Christchurch’s new ANZ Centre, which is in early stages of construction. H&M, the world’s second-biggest fashion brand has secured a retail presence at Auckland’s Sylvia Park, with rumours spreading they’re looking for sites for further expansion in Wellington and Christchurch.

Trish McLean, Group CEO at Retailworld, recruitment specialists in the retail sector, said “It has been a positive year in retail; exciting new brands entering our market, the omni-channel offering increasing and new retail developments across the country (Silverdale to Queenstown) have fuelled candidate demand. The industry has done a lot of work over the past 10 years to promote retail as a 'career of choice', furthermore, local brands are developing their own employment brand proposition in an effort to attract the best talent the market has to offer.”

The roles in highest demand across the industry are merchandise planners, which are up 40%, and store and area managers, up 25–27%. There is also increased demand for retail assistants and merchandisers.

On attracting people to the industry McLean says, “I think the retail industry is a stand out in terms of the efforts being applied to attract talent, from integrated social media campaigns through to industry collaboration towards developing qualifications for future industry leaders; the retail sector is taking talent acquisition and retention seriously. A shortage of candidates skilled and experienced in store management positions continues to challenge the sector. Talented people with operations (stock and store management), P&L financial management and leadership of teams of 10 or more people continue to put supply pressure on our market. You could say it’s a candidates market!”

Monthly review

Latest data from SEEK shows that new job advertising on the site increased marginally in October, up 0.3% month-on-month. This has lifted the annual growth to 1.6%.

Faulding comments that while the rate of growth is slowing, SEEK data continues to highlight an increase in new job ads, which lead us to be more optimistic about the market than what has been portrayed by latest Household Labour Force Survey.

“Positive news for jobseekers continues to come out of the Auckland market, with new job ads up 6.6% year-on-year. At a national level, it’s encouraging to see year-on-year growth across more than 60% of the classifications on SEEK,” says Faulding.

Regional insight

The Auckland market continues to be the powerhouse across the country, and while it has stabilised in the past few months, positive growth is strong looking at a year-on-year level.

“The strength of the Auckland market is now benefiting neighbouring regions. Examples of this are the strength of the Bay of Plenty and Northland market. We’re also seeing the emergence of a stronger market in the Waikato,” noted Faulding.

New job ads in Waikato are up 4.8% month-on-month to October and 17.5% year-on-year.
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SEEK Insights & Resources New Zealand

SEEK is the destination of choice for job-seekers and hirers in New Zealand, acting as the conduit between hirers looking to fill vacant roles and candidates looking for work across many and varied industries. SEEK's mission is to help people live...

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