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Jobs Online monthly report – January 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 January

Jobs Online shows that skilled job vacancies[1] increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in January following a decrease in December. All vacancies also increased by 0.8%.

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 8.4% and all vacancies up by 9.7%.

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 59.9% and all vacancies up by 61.3% (see Figure 1).

The latest results from Jobs Online indicate that employment prospects have plateaued over recent months. This is echoed in the latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) results which showed that the number of people in employment rose by 3,000 (0.1%) over the December 2011 quarter, slightly less than the growth in the working-age population of 0.2%. Over the next year we expect the labour market to continue to recover. The Department forecasts annual employment growth of 1.3% in the March 2012 year and 1.6% in the March 2013 year.

Growth in skilled job vacancies varied across industry and occupation groups

Growth in advertised skilled vacancies varied across industry groups in January (see Table 1). The healthcare and medical industry had the biggest increase (up by 7.8%) followed by construction and engineering (up by 4.5%). On the other hand, the industries that had the biggest falls in vacancies were information technology (down by 5.8%), and education and training (down by 5.1%). The data series for education and training 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 the healthcare and medical industry (up by 19%), followed by construction and engineering (up by 6%). The biggest decrease was seen in education and training (down by 19%).

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

Industry Monthly change
(Dec 11 - Jan 12)
Annual change
(Jan 11 – Jan 12)
Healthcare and medical 7.8%

19.1%

Construction and engineering 4.5%

5.9%

Accounting, HR, legal and administration 2.0%

5.0%

Hospitality and tourism -1.1%

1.0%

Sales, retail, marketing and advertising -3.3%

-0.5%

Education and training -5.1%

-19.4%

Information technology -5.8%

2.7%

Other 0.3%

16.2%

Occupation Monthly change
(Dec 11 – Jan 12)

Annual change
(Jan 11 – Jan 12)

Professionals 0.1%

6.5%
Technicians and trades workers -2.4%

18.7%
Managers -3.3%

1.5%
Total skilled job vacancies 0.5%

8.4%

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

The professionals occupation group was the only group that had an increase in skilled job vacancies in January (up by 0.1%). Vacancies for managers were down by 3.3% and technicians and trades workers were down by 2.4%.

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 19%).

The latest HLFS results show that employment in the construction industry fell by 4,000 people in Canterbury over 2011. Despite this fall in employment, skilled occupations are still in demand in the construction industry in the region. The on-going seismic activity and current uncertainty over the pace of the rebuild are likely to have impacted differently specific parts of the construction workforce, with certain occupations and skills set currently more in demand than others.

Auckland and Wellington have had the weakest growth in skilled job vacancies

On a regional basis, the South Island excluding Canterbury had the strongest growth in skilled vacancies in January (up by 2.3%), followed by the North Island excluding Auckland and Wellington (up by 2.0%) and Canterbury (up by 1.9%). Both Auckland and Wellington had a decrease in skilled job vacancies (down by 1.3% and 0.5% respectively) in January.

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

Region Monthly change
(Dec 11 – Jan 12)

Annual change
(Jan 11 – Jan 12)
Auckland -1.3%

-0.4%

Wellington -0.5%

2.3%

North Island - Other 2.0%

9.9%

Canterbury 1.9%

43.9%

South Island - Other 2.3%

31.3%

Nationwide 0.5% 8.4%


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, the Canterbury region continued to show the strongest growth in skilled vacancies of any region (up by 44%). The Canterbury rebuild has generated an increased demand for labour in the region. However, according to the Department’s Canterbury Employers Survey, retaining and hiring staff has become harder due to the earthquakes especially in the construction industry. 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 healthcare and medical (up by 141%) and construction and engineering (up by 70%) industries. 

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.