Home > Research Centre > Labour Market and Skills > Jobs Online > March 2012

Jobs Online monthly report – March 2012

Published: April 2012

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

Online skilled job vacancies increased in March

Jobs Online shows, in seasonally adjusted terms, that skilled job vacancies[1] increased by 1.1% in March, following a strong increase in February (see Figure 1). However, all job vacancies fell slightly by 0.8% in March, following a strong increase in February.

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 4.0% and all vacancies up by 6.3%.

Job vacancies have been generally increasing since August 2009, when they were at their lowest point due to the recession, with skilled vacancies up by 72.6% and all vacancies also up by 72.6%.

The latest results from Jobs Online indicate that the demand for skilled labour continues to improve, although overall growth in job vacancies appears to have eased. This is consistent with recent business confidence surveys that show hiring intentions remaining positive and is in line with the Department’s view of a gradual recovery in employment over the coming year. The Department forecasts[2] annual employment to grow by 1.8% in the 2013 March year and by 2.4% in the 2014 March year.

Growth in skilled job vacancies varied across industry and occupation groups

Growth in skilled job vacancies varied across industry and occupation groups in March (see Table 1). The accounting, HR, legal and administration industry group had the biggest increase (up by 3.5%), followed by construction and engineering (up by 3.4%), and healthcare and medical (up by 3.0%). On the other hand, the industries with the biggest falls were education and training (down by 4.8%), and information technology (down by 1.1%).

Over the year, skilled job vacancies increased across most industry groups. Growth was strongest in construction and engineering (up by 13%), followed by healthcare and medical (up by 12%). Industries that showed a decrease were education and training (down by 9%) and information technology (down by 4%).

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

Industry Monthly change
(Feb 12 – Mar 12)
Annual change
(Mar 11 – Mar 12)

Accounting, HR, legal and administration

3.5%

2.8%

Construction and engineering

3.4%

13.1%

Healthcare and medical

3.0%

11.7%

Hospitality and tourism

2.6%

2.7%

Sales, retail, marketing and advertising

2.5%

6.7%

Information technology

-1.1%

-4.1%

Education and training

-4.8%

-9.0%

Other

-1.8%

7.3%

Occupation Monthly change
(Feb 12 – Mar 12)

Annual change
(Mar 11 – Mar 12)

Technicians and trades

0.5%

7.7%

Professionals

-0.5%

0.2%

Managers

-2.1%

3.4%

Total skilled job vacancies

1.1%

4.0%

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 technicians and trades occupation group was the only group that had an increase in skilled vacancies in March (up by 0.5%). Vacancies for professionals were down by 0.5% and managers were down by 2.1%.

Over the year, skilled job vacancies increased across all major skilled occupation groups. The biggest growth was for technicians and trades workers (up by 8%).

The South Island had the strongest growth in skilled job vacancies

On a regional basis, the South Island (excluding Canterbury) had the strongest growth in skilled vacancies in March (up by 8.3%), followed by Canterbury (up by 6.2%). The strong demand for skilled labour in Canterbury may also be flowing to the rest of the South Island. Skilled vacancies in the North Island (excluding Auckland and Wellington) grew by 2.9%. However, both Auckland and Wellington had a decrease in skilled job vacancies (down by 2.1% and 1.9%, respectively).

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

Region Monthly change
(Feb 12 – Mar 12)
Annual change
(Mar 11 – Mar 12)
Auckland -2.1% -3.9%
Wellington -1.9% -9.7%
North Island - Other 2.9% 6.5%
Canterbury 6.2% 58.6%
South Island - Other 8.3% 19.7%
Nationwide 1.1% 4.0%


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, Canterbury continued to show the strongest growth in skilled vacancies of any region (up by 59%) while vacancies fell in Auckland (down by 4%) and Wellington (down by 10%). The strong growth in Canterbury vacancies over the year was driven by the demand for skilled workers in the healthcare and medical (up by 123%) and construction and engineering (up by 90%) industry groups.

According to the Department’s Canterbury Employers Survey, retaining and hiring staff in the region has become harder due to the earthquakes, especially in the construction industry. 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.

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.

Future updates

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[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.