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Jobs Online monthly report – December 2011

Jobs Online measures changes in job vacancies advertised on the two main internet job boards - Seek and Trade Me Jobs.

Online job vacancies decreased in December

Jobs Online shows, in seasonally adjusted terms, that skilled job vacancies[1] decreased by 0.9% in December 2011 following an increase in November. All job vacancies, also decreased by 1.8%.

The trend series reached a peak in May 2011 and has been decreasing since, indicating a sluggish labour market. A number of recent business surveys and recruitment agency reports have indicated a slowdown in employment intentions.  The Department forecasts annual employment growth of 1.3% in the March 2012 year and 1.6% in 2013.

Figure 1: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI), seasonally adjusted and trend series (May 2007=100)

Figure 1: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI), seasonally adjusted and trend series (May 2007=100).

Data table for Figure 1

Figure 2: All Vacancies Index (AVI), seasonally adjusted and trend series (May 2007=100)

Figure 2: All Vacancies Index (AVI), seasonally adjusted and trend series (May 2007=100).

Data table for Figure 2

Compared with a year earlier, growth in online job vacancies remained positive with skilled vacancies up by 7.7% and all vacancies up by 7.2%.

Skilled job vacancies decreased across most industries and occupation groups

The number of advertised skilled vacancies decreased across most industry groups in December (see Table 1). However, some industries showed rises. Information technology was up by 6.2%, hospitality and tourism (up by 0.2%), and sales, retail, marketing and advertising (up by 0.2%). The biggest falls were in construction and engineering (down by 8.9%), and education and training (down by 8.2%).

Compared with December 2010, the number of skilled job vacancies increased across most industries. Growth in skilled job vacancies was strongest in the accounting, human resources, legal and administration industry (up by 6.4%), and information technology (up by 6.4%). The biggest decrease was for education and training (down by 20.0%). However, the education and training industry tends to be volatile from year to year.

Skilled job vacancies decreased in most occupation groups in December. However, technicians and trades workers showed growth (up by 3.1%).

Compared with a year earlier, skilled vacancies for all occupation groups increased. The biggest growth was for technicians and trades workers (up by 23.4%).

Table 1: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry and occupation group, seasonally adjusted

Industry Monthly change
(Nov 11 - Dec 11)
Annual change
(Dec 10 – Dec 11)
Information technology 6.2% 6.4%
Hospitality and tourism 0.2% 6.3%
Sales, retail, marketing and advertising 0.2% 3.5%
Accounting, human resource, legal and administration -2.0% 6.4%
Healthcare and medical -5.8% -0.9%
Education and training -8.2% -20.0%
Construction and engineering -8.9% -2.7%
Other -1.8% 20.4%
Occupation Monthly change
(Nov 11 - Dec 11)
Annual change
(Dec 10 – Dec 11)
Technicians and trades workers 3.1% 23.4%
Professionals -1.1% 3.4%
Managers -1.4% 6.4%
Total skilled job vacancies -0.9% 7.7%

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

Figure 3: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group, seasonally adjusted series (May 2007=100).

Data table for Figure 3

Figure 4: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group, trend series (May 2007=100)

Figure 4: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group, trend series (May 2007=100).

Data table for Figure 4

Growth in skilled job vacancies for Canterbury

Most regions showed a decrease in skilled job vacancies in December (see Table 2). However, Canterbury showed growth in skilled vacancies (up by 2.2%).

Canterbury also had the strongest growth in skilled vacancies of any region over the past year (up by 40.6%).

Table 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region, seasonally adjusted

Region Monthly change
(Nov 11 - Dec 11)
Annual change
(Dec 10 – Dec 11)
Auckland -0.6% -0.6%
Wellington -1.6% 4.2%
North Island - Other -3.1% 7.3%
Canterbury 2.2% 40.6%
South Island - Other -2.8% 25.5%
Nationwide -0.9% 7.7%


Figure 5: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region, seasonally adjusted series (May 2007=100)

Figure 5: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region, seasonally adjusted series (May 2007=100).

Data table for Figure 5


Figure 6: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region, trend series (May 2007=100)

Figure 6: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region, trend series (May 2007=100).

Data table for Figure 6

In Canterbury, the industries with the biggest growth in skilled vacancies for the month of December were information technology (up by 20.6%) and education and training (up by 19.5%). The construction and engineering industry in the region showed mild growth (up by 2.5%).  The biggest fall in December was in the healthcare and medical industry (down by 14.8%).

The healthcare and medical industry had the strongest growth in Canterbury (up by 54.4%) over the year. There was also strong growth in construction and engineering (up by 50.0%), information technology (up by 39.2%) and accounting, HR, legal and administration (up by 38.5%).

For further information

For more information on Jobs Online, see the Background and Methodology report.

For other reports visit the Labour and Immigration Research Centre or email research@mbie.govt.nz.


[1] Skilled occupations are defined as skill levels 1-3 under the Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) 2006. Skill level 3 is equivalent to an NQF level 4 qualification.