ANZ job ads survey shows still weak employment picture despite signs of stronger economy; Canterbury running out of steam?
The Jobs market is still showing no sign of growth - even if there are encouraging signs of growth elsewhere in the economy.
The ANZ New Zealand Job Advertisement series, which measures newspaper and internet advertising across the country is showing a seasonally-adjustred 1.5% drop in ads through January, after a 0.4% rise in December.
The monthly fall was driven by a 1.8% fall in internet job advertising, while the number of newspaper job advertisements lifted by 0.4%.
ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said the results suggest an unemployment rate hovering around the 7% mark for the next six months.
"The labour market remains the [missing-in-action] ingredient to a sustained upturn taking hold."
Despite employment in Canterbury being up 5.2% compared with a year ago on the back of the Christchurch rebuild, job ads are now heading downwards - despite
anecdotes that construction sector activity is ramping up.
"It may be that firms now have all the staff they need, but another possibility is that firms are starting to become resigned to chronic skill shortages becoming a fact of modern life with a growing polarization of labour utilisation and incomes, Zollner said.
"Whatever the reason, it seems that the job ads boom in Canterbury has run out of puff.
"Whether that be supply or demand-induced is going to become the million dollar question," she said.
In the past month newspaper job ads rose in Auckland, Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, and Manawatu, but fell in Canterbury, Otago and the Waikato. Online advertising fell in Auckland and Wellington, but rose slightly in Canterbury.
ANZ's “composite” total for job advertising, which places more weight on newspaper advertising, fell 0.7% seasonally adjusted and is 6.4 percent lower than a year ago.