In a reflection of the tight labour market being seen around the country, the SEEK NZ Employment Report is still showing a strong rise in job advertisements, but a big fall in job application responses.
The SEEK report for February showed that national job ads maintained their record-breaking January level and were up 40% year-on-year (y/y).
No individual regions experienced a decline compared with February 2021.
However, applications per job ad fell by 9% from January, notably outside the major cities, with applications being 46% lower than those recorded in February 2021.
Rob Clark, country manager at SEEK NZ said with no change to job ads month-on-month, January and now February have been record months for job ads on seek.co.nz, "although candidates are still hesitant to hit ‘apply’ with applications per ad falling significantly".
The steady tracking of job ads in February may be set to change with several Covid-19 milestones on the horizon, including the predicted Omicron peak and the easing of international travel restrictions, which raise the question of which direction migration will be heading.
“While the reopening of international borders may be cause for some optimism as we can look forward to an influx of workers again for the first time in two years, there is the concern that we will lose candidates to the lure of OE and overseas opportunities," Clark said.
"Applications and people movement will be a key metric to watch over the coming months.”
In terms of the number of ads posted, by region Manawatu saw the greatest month-on-month increase, rising 11% and, alongside Canterbury and Tasman, the three regions each recorded their highest ever job ads in February. Marlborough and Otago remained steady and Auckland and Bay of Plenty declined by 3% month-on-month, said SEEK NZ.
“While it was a mixed bag across the nation with job ads rising in some regions, falling in others or remaining consistent month-on-month, the Great Job Boom continues and it follows that there never has been a better time for jobseekers to take advantage of new opportunities,” Clark said.
By industry, month-on month, Information & Communication Technology roles had the most new job ads on seek.co.nz in February, rising 3%, followed by Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics (+7%) and Trades & Services, which remained steady (0%).
There were increases all round in the Public service sector, with 9% increases for both Education & Training and Community Services & Development roles, while Healthcare & Medical roles were up 3%.
Amid the mostly positive growth there was one (not unexpected) exception.
“Hospitality & Tourism was the most notable exception, falling 13% month-on-month, at the same time as daily COVID cases rose,” Clark said.