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Jobs Online monthly report – April 2010

Overview

Jobs Online measures changes in job vacancies advertised on the main internet job boards.

Jobs Online shows that job advertisements have increased over the three months to the end of April 2010. April is the tenth consecutive month where the number of job advertisements has increased. The increase in job vacancies — in conjunction with other labour market data — indicates that employment prospects in the economy are improving and that the labour market is strengthening.

Key points

Jobs Online shows that in the three months to the end of April 2010:

Jobs Online shows that since June 2009 there has been sustained recovery in advertised vacancies: skilled vacancies have increased by 21.7% and total vacancies have increased by 25.6%. Alongside other indicators of positive employment growth, falling unemployment, and strong hiring intentions, Jobs Online shows that job prospects in the economy have improved.

While the latest increase is encouraging, the number of skilled job advertisements in April 2010 is 36.2% lower than in March 2008, when the index was at its peak.

Commentary

Job advertisements increase further…

Jobs Online shows that the number of job advertisements grew strongly over the three months to the end of April 2010. Job advertisements have increased every month since June 2009, when they were at their lowest point.

Total vacancies have increased by 8.6% in the three months to the end of April 2010 and by 25.6% since June 2009. Skilled vacancies[1] have increased by 8.5% in the three months to the end of April 2010 and by 21.7% since June 2009. Skilled vacancies did not fall quite so far or as fast as total vacancies, and so have slightly less ground to recover.

These trends are shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) and All Vacancies Index (AVI)

Trend series (May 2007=100)

Figure 1: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) and All Vacancies Index (AVI) Trend series (May 2007=100)

Data table for Figure 1

…indicating that job prospects have improved.

Jobs Online — in conjunction with other labour market information — shows that employment prospects in the economy have improved.

The latest Household Labour Force Survey results show that unemployment fell by 25,000 to 6.0% in the quarter to March 2010 — the first decrease since the December 2007 quarter. Over the same period, employment rose by 22,000 people. The strong HLFS result, high business and consumer confidence, and rising employment intentions indicate that the labour market has reached a turning point and is beginning to recover.

Skilled job advertisements have increased in most regions…

Table 1 shows that advertised skilled vacancies increased across most regions in the three months to the end of April 2010. Growth was particularly strong in the North Island: vacancies in Wellington rose by 15.6%, in Auckland by 8.5% and in the rest of the North Island by 8.8%.

In the South Island (excluding Christchurch), advertised skilled vacancies also increased strongly, by 7.3%. Christchurch had a slight decline in advertised skilled vacancies of 3.4%. However, vacancies there did not fall as far as in other regions during the recession, and are 2.2% higher than in July 2009 when the index was at its lowest.

Table 1: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region
Region Jan. 10 – Apr. 10 Apr. 09 – Apr. 10
Auckland 8.5% 18.5%
Wellington 15.6% 21.3%
North Island - other 8.8% 18.0%
Christchurch -3.4% -0.5%
South Island - other 7.3% 3.3%
Nationwide 8.5% 14.3%

Figure 2 below shows the long-term trends for Jobs Online by region.

Figure 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region

Trend series (May 2007=100)

Figure 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region - Trend series (May 2007=100)

Data table for Figure 2

…and increased across most industries…

As shown in Table 2 below, the number of advertised skilled vacancies increased across nearly all industries in the three months to the end of April 2010. The biggest increases were in construction and engineering (up 15.1%); sales, retail, marketing & advertising (up 11.4%); and IT (up 10.8%). Health and medical vacancies had the only decline, falling slightly by 1.7%.

Table 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group
Industry group Jan. 10 – Apr. 10 Apr. 09 – Apr. 10
Construction and engineering 15.1% -2.5%
Sales, retail, marketing, advertising 11.4% 56.1%
IT 10.8% 19.1%
Hospitality 8.2% 38.9%
Accounting, HR, legal, administration 5.2% 2.1%
Education 2.2% -8.6%
Health and medical -1.7% -10.9%
Other 9.3% 26.7%

Figure 3 below shows the long term vacancy trends of industry groups.

Figure 3: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group

Trend series (May 2007=100)

Figure 3:  Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group
Trend series (May 2007=100)

Data table for Figure 3

…with vacancies increasing across skilled occupational groups.

Advertised skilled vacancy growth over the three months to the end of April 2010 was strong across all the major skilled occupation groups, as shown in Table 3 below. Job advertisements for technicians and trades workers showed the strongest growth over the quarter (up 12.7%), closely followed by professionals (up 8.3%). Annual growth was the strongest since the beginning of the series for all three occupations.

Table 3: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) for high level (1-digit ANZSCO) occupations
Occupation group Jan. 10 – Apr. 10 Apr. 09 – Apr. 10
Managers 6.2% 29.2%
Professionals 8.3% 9.2%
Technicians and trades workers 12.7% 30.5%
All skilled occupations 8.5% 14.3%

Table 4 below takes a more detailed look at occupational groups, and shows that vacancies for most of the groups have exceeded their April 2009 levels. The percentages in Table 1 represent the change in the average number of job advertisements in the three months to 30 April 2010 from the average number in the three months to 30 April 2009.

Table 4: Change in advertised vacancies for selected skilled occupations
Three months to 30 April 2009 against three months to 30 April 2010.
Occupational Group 2-Digit Occupation Apr. 09 – Apr. 10
Managers Chief executives, general managers and legislators 13%
Specialist managers 31%
Hospitality, retail and service managers 17%
Professionals Arts and media professionals 5%
Business, human resource and marketing professionals 16%
Design, engineering, science and transport professionals 4%
Education professionals 8%
Health professionals -17%
ICT professionals 8%
Legal, social and welfare professionals -1%
Technicians and trades workers Engineering, ICT and science technicians 17%
Automotive and engineering trades workers 19%
Construction trades workers 81%
Electro-technology and telecommunications trades workers -4%
Food trades workers 36%
Skilled animal and horticultural workers 32%
Other technicians and trades workers 39%
Community and personal service workers Health and welfare support workers -5%
Sports and personal service workers 22%
Clerical and administrative workers Office managers and program administrators 47%
Personal assistants and secretaries -2%
Inquiry clerks and receptionists 88%
Other clerical and administrative workers -3%
Sales workers Sales representatives and agents -20%
Note: this is not a trend series, and so differs from annual comparisons for the Skilled Vacancy Index. It is not yet possible to create a seasonally adjusted series for this table, as some of these occupational groups are small and the series has been running for such a short time.

Methodology

Jobs Online includes two separate indices: the All Vacancy Index (AVI) tracks all job vacancies listed, and the Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) looks closer at skilled occupations[2]. The Skilled Vacancies Index is broken down further by detailed occupation, location and industry type. The results are presented as an index that measures changes in the number of job advertisements.

Vacancies are highly seasonal: for instance, there is usually a substantial fall in the numbers of jobs advertised during December and then a small increase in February. To remove such seasonality, the Jobs Online data reported here has been converted to a trend series[3], allowing us to compare figures between months.

Jobs Online replaces the previous Job Vacancy Monitoring Programme, which gathered data on job advertisements placed in newspapers. Jobs Online allows us to access a considerably larger number of advertisements in a timelier manner, and better reflects the dominance of online advertising in the recruitment sector, particularly in terms of advertised vacancies for skilled labour.

For more on Jobs Online, see the Background and Methodology report at http://www.dol.govt.nzmethodology/ or email the Labour Market Skills Team at info@mbie.govt.nz.

[1] Skilled occupations are defined as skill levels 1-3 under the Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). Skill level 3 is equivalent to an NCEA level 4 qualification.

[2] Skilled occupations are defined as skill levels 1-3 under the Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). Skill level 3 is equivalent to an NCEA level 4 qualification. Vacancies for occupations outside these groups are much less likely to be advertised and may not be representative of labour market changes.

[3] Trend series have had both the seasonal and irregular components removed, and reveal the underlying direction of movement in a series.