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Jobs Online monthly report – February 2012

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

Online job vacancies increased in February

Jobs Online shows, in seasonally adjusted terms, that skilled job vacancies[1] increased by 6.0% in February, following an increase in January. All job vacancies also increased by 6.8%. This is the largest growth in skilled vacancies since March 2011.

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 9.6% and all vacancies up by 13.3%.

Job advertisements have been generally increasing since August 2009, when they were at their lowest point due to the recession, with skilled vacancies up by 71.0% and all vacancies up by 73.7% (see Figure 1).

These increases are consistent with recent business confidence surveys that show hiring intentions remaining positive.

Skilled job vacancies increased across all industry and occupation groups

Advertised skilled vacancies increased across all industry groups in February (see Table 1). The construction and engineering industry (up by 12.1%) had strong growth followed by sales, retail, marketing and advertising (up by 6.8%). The education and training industry had an increase of 14.6%, but this sector tends to be volatile from month to month as it is based on a small number of job ads.

Over the year, the number of skilled job vacancies increased across most industry groups. Growth in skilled job vacancies over the past year was strongest in construction and engineering (up by 29%), followed by healthcare and medical (up by 11%). Industries that showed a decrease were education and training (down by 2%) and information technology (down by 2%).

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

Industry Monthly change
(Jan 12 – Feb 12)
Annual change
(Feb 11 – Feb 12)
Accounting, HR, legal and administration 0.2% 2.8%
Construction and engineering 12.1% 28.5%
Education and training 14.6% -2.4%
Healthcare and medical 2.7% 10.9%
Hospitality and tourism 3.8% 4.2%
Information technology 6.2% -2.0%
Sales, retail, marketing and advertising 6.8% 5.7%
Other 3.5% 15.9%
Occupation Monthly change
(Jan 12 – Feb 12)
Annual change
(Feb 11 – Feb 12)
Managers 7.3% 8.2%
Professionals 6.1% 5.0%
Technicians and trades workers 5.8% 24.7%
Total skilled job vacancies 6.0% 9.6%

 

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

All occupation groups showed an increase in skilled job vacancies in February. The biggest increase was for managers (up by 7.3%). This was followed by professionals (up by 6.1%) and technicians and trades workers (up by 5.8%).

Over the year, the number of skilled job vacancies increased across all major skilled occupation groups. The biggest growth was for technicians and trades workers (up by 25%).

Canterbury and Auckland have the strongest growth in skilled job vacancies

On a regional basis, the Canterbury region had the strongest growth in skilled vacancies in February (up by 6.9%), followed by Auckland (up by 6.8%). The North Island (excluding Auckland and Wellington) grew by 5.6%. Skilled job vacancies in Wellington were flat (up by 0.4%). The South Island (excluding Canterbury) was the only region to show a fall in skilled vacancies in February (down by 0.3%).

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

Region Monthly change
(Jan 12 – Feb 12)
Annual change
(Feb 11 – Feb 12)
Auckland 6.8% 1.6%
Wellington 0.4% -2.3%
North Island - Other 5.6% 10.9%
Canterbury 6.9% 76.6%
South Island - Other -0.3% 14.3%
Nationwide 6.0% 9.6%


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

Over the year to February 2012, Canterbury continued to show the strongest growth in skilled vacancies of any region (up by 77%). According to the Department’s Canterbury Employers Survey, retaining and hiring staff has become harder due to the earthquakes.  As employment in Canterbury has fallen over the past year, this suggests that some of the growth in vacancies may be due to increased turnover rather than new jobs.

The strong growth in Canterbury vacancies over the year was driven by the construction and engineering (up by 178%) and healthcare and medical (up by 114%) industries.

Wellington was the only region to show a decrease in skilled vacancies over the year to February 2012 (down by 2.3%).

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.