SEEK Employment Trends: region spotlight on Bay of Plenty

New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty has plenty to boast about. One of the country’s hottest tourist destinations, its economy is booming and a recent report shows its major city, Tauranga, is outperforming the rest of the country in a range of economic indicators. To top it off, the latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows that job ads for the region are also on the rise.

This pristine coastal region is located just 200 kilometres south of Auckland and is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. Home to volcanoes and incredible wildlife on land or at sea, it is a beacon for international and domestic tourists, and experts say a growing number of people are also being drawn to the region for attractive career opportunities.

“A lot of people from Auckland are moving here because housing prices are lower,” says Kellie Hamlett, Director of Talent ID Recruitment, which is located in Rotorua. “People are realising that they can combine their career with the wonderful lifestyle that the region offers.”

Growth across the region

A recent report from economic research company Infometrics shows that Tauranga outperformed the rest of New Zealand on 10 out of 11 indicators. It found that growth has been broad-based across most indicators of spending and investment behaviour, which is giving businesses greater confidence to recruit new talent.

Phill Van Syp, Managing Director of recruitment firm 1st Call Recruitment, which is located in Bay of Plenty, says the region is seeing growth across most sectors. “It’s New Zealand’s fastest growing region. It’s the fifth largest city in the country and there are developments happening across pretty much all sectors,” he says. “Every part of our business is busy. We’re finding it hard to keep up.”

Hamlett is seeing similar levels of growth. “I cover the whole Bay of Plenty region and we have a lot of happy business owners across the region,” she says. “They are saying that life is pretty good at the moment because people are spending money. We’re not coming across many businesses that are moaning. The general feeling is that the economic environment is very positive.”

Trends across the industries

The latest data from SEEK shows that job ads for the region’s advertising, arts and media industry were out in front in terms of year-on-year growth for the three-month period from May to July 2016. SEEK job ads for the industry increased by 117% and Van Syp attributes this growth to an overall expansion of the sector across the region. “More advertising companies are moving into town,” he says. “There wasn’t much going on in that space a couple of years ago and now it’s pretty busy. It just reflects the overall growth of the region.”

SEEK job ads for CEO and general management roles across the Bay of Plenty also increased by 109% over the same period, while ads for retail and consumer products were up by 32%. The region’s burgeoning hospitality and tourism sector also experienced a boost of 13%. “Tourism is particularly strong in the Bay of Plenty at the moment,” says Hamlett. “The region has so much to offer.”

The region’s construction industry also experienced a 73% increase in SEEK job ads year-on-year from May to July 2016. “We’re seeing growth across both residential and commercial sectors,” says Hamlett.

In related industries, SEEK job ads for trades and services across the Bay of Plenty grew by 36% year-on-year. Jason Walker, Managing Director of recruitment firm Hays in New Zealand, says employers in this sector may benefit from a growing number of candidates in the region. “Some candidates are moving to the Bay of Plenty due to the number of residential developments there as well as for a lifestyle change,” he says.
Positive conditions across the region have also led to an increase in SEEK job ads for the human resources and recruitment sector, which grew by 3% year-on-year.

“As companies continue to grow, it’s natural that there’s a greater demand for HR professionals,” says Hamlett. “Across the HR sector, we’re also seeing a greater demand for health and safety roles due to the introduction of the Worksafe legislation.”

A slip in some industries

Only a small number of indsutries across the region experienced a decline in SEEK job ads over this period. Van Syp says he is surprised to hear that SEEK job ads for the region’s information and communications technology industry declined by 31% year-on-year for the three-month period from May–July 2016. “We are actually seeing positive demand across the sector,” he says.

Meanwhile, the region saw a 7% decline in SEEK job ads for the farming, animals and conservation sectors across this period, while job ads for education and training were down by 8%. The region’s banking and financial services sector also saw a decline in SEEK job ads of 24%. “The banks seem to be continually restructuring and refining their services,” says Hamlett. “There is also a greater degree of automation in the sector.”

The buoyant economy across the Bay of Plenty is leading to an increase in SEEK job ads across a range of industries. “The region offers a wonderful lifestyle and this is attracting more candidates, which is of course good news for employers,” says Hamlett. “Within 10 minutes of leaving work you can be riding your mountain bike or walking in the forest or along the beach. It’s a lifestyle that you just can’t get in one of the bigger centres.”

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