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Jobs Online monthly report – July 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 July 2010. The increase in job vacancies — in conjunction with other labour market data — indicates that employment prospects in the economy continue to gradually improve.

Key points

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

Vacancies have increased consistently from a year ago (July 2009), when they were at their lowest point due to the recession. Since then, skilled vacancies have increased by 36.7%, and total vacancies have increased by 39.6%.

Jobs Online shows the strong vacancy growth recorded over the last six months may have eased slightly in July 2010, but it remains positive.

Despite the increases in Jobs Online, the number of skilled job advertisements in July 2010 remains 29.3% lower than in March 2008, when the index was at its peak. However, we expect the trends shown by Jobs Online will continue over the next year in line with the labour market recovery.

Commentary

Job advertisements increase further...

Jobs Online shows that the number of job advertisements grew strongly over the three months to the end of July 2010. Job advertisements increased consistently since July 2009, when they were at their lowest point due to the recession.

Total vacancies increased by 7.6% in the three months to the end of July 2010 and by 39.6% since July 2009. Skilled vacancies[1] increased by 8.2% in the three months to the end of July 2010 and by 36.7% since July 2009. While strong, this recent growth appears to be easing slightly, and was down by around three percentage points compared to growth to the end of April 2010.

These trends are shown in Figure 1 below.

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

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

Data table for Figure 1

…although labour market recovery is modest.

Jobs Online indicates that employment prospects in the economy have improved over the last six months, although growth in job vacancies appears to have eased slightly in recent months. This is echoed in results from the NZIER’s June 2010 Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion and the National Bank’s Business Outlook for July 2010, which show that employers’ hiring intentions generally remain positive, although have eased slightly.

In the latest Household and Labour Force Survey (HLFS), the number of people in employment fell by 0.3% in the June 2010 quarter. However, labour market data has been volatile of late, and the fall in employment follows a 1.0% rise in the March 2010 quarter. Compared to the December 2009 quarter, employment has risen by 15,000 and the unemployment rate has fallen from 7.1% to 6.8%. This is consistent with our view of a slowly improving labour market. We expect the trends shown by the HLFS will continue over the next year as the economy recovers, although with some volatility in the unemployment rate as the recovery remains patchy.

Skilled job advertisements have increased in all regions…

Skilled vacancies increased for all regions in the year to the end of July 2010. Table 1 shows that in the three months to the end of July 2010, growth was the strongest in Auckland (up 10.0%) and in the South Island excluding Christchurch (up 8.6%). Vacancies rose by 6.5% in the North Island (excluding Auckland and Wellington), by 6.4% in Wellington, and by 2.6% in Christchurch.

Table 1: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region
Region Apr. 10 – Jul. 10 Jul. 09 – Jul. 10
Auckland 10.0% 45.9%
Wellington 6.4% 42.7%
North Island – other 6.5% 35.9%
Christchurch 2.6% 14.6%
South Island – other 8.6% 24.8%
Nationwide 8.2% 36.7%

 

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

Figure 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region

Figure 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region.

Data table for Figure 2

…and increased across all industries…

Table 2 shows that the number of advertised skilled vacancies increased across all major industry groups. The biggest increases in the three months to the end of July 2010 were in construction and engineering (up 13.3%), and IT (up 7.1%).

Table 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group
Industry group Apr. 10 – Jul. 10 Jul. 09 – Jul. 10
Construction and engineering 13.3% 38.9%
IT 7.1% 48.9%
Education and training 4.9% 7.8%
Hospitality and tourism 4.3% 43.0%
Sales, retail, marketing, advertising 3.6% 51.9%
Health and medical 2.2% 1.1%
Accounting, HR, legal, administration 0.1% 16.4%
Other 8.7% 47.5%

 

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

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

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

Data table for Figure 3

Vacancies also increased across all skilled occupational groups.

Advertised skilled vacancy growth was strong across all the major skilled occupational groups, as shown in Table 3 below. Job advertisements for professionals showed the strongest growth over the quarter (up 9.2%), closely followed by technicians and trades workers (up 9%). Annual growth was the strongest since the beginning of the series for all three occupational groups.

Table 3: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) for highest-skilled groups
Occupational group Apr. 10 – Jul. 10 Jul. 09 – Jul. 10
Managers 5.7% 37.2%
Professionals 9.2% 36.3%
Technicians and trades workers 9.0% 52.7%
All skilled occupations 8.2% 36.7%

 

Table 4 below takes a more detailed look at occupational groups, and shows that vacancies for almost all of the groups have exceeded their July 2009 levels. The percentages in Table 4 represent the change in the average number of job advertisements in the three months to 31 July 2010 from the average number in the three months to 31 July 2009.

Table 4: Change in advertised vacancies for selected skilled occupations
Occupational Group Sub group[2] Jul. 09 – Jul. 10
Managers Chief executives, general managers and legislators 15%
Specialist managers 38%
Hospitality, retail and service managers 35%
Professionals Arts and media professionals 20%
Business, human resource and marketing professionals 26%
Design, engineering, science and transport professionals 28%
Education professionals 15%
Health professionals -1%
ICT professionals 45%
Legal, social and welfare professionals 14%
Technicians and trades workers Engineering, ICT and science technicians 37%
Automotive and engineering trades workers 56%
Construction trades workers 76%
Electro-technology and telecommunications trades workers 22%
Food trades workers 34%
Skilled animal and horticultural workers 36%
Other technicians and trades workers 27%
Community and personal
service workers
Health and welfare support workers -12%
Sports and personal service workers 40%
Clerical and administrative workers Office managers and program administrators 61%
Personal assistants and secretaries 17%
Inquiry clerks and receptionists 51%
Other clerical and administrative workers -5%

Sales workers

Sales representatives and agents 3%

Note: this is not a trend series, and 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[3]. 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[4], 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) 2006. Skill level 3 is equivalent to an NCEA level 4 qualification.

[2] ANZSCO 2006 2 digit occupational groupings.

[3] 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.

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