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Jobs Online monthly report – May 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 May 2010. The increase in job vacancies — in conjunction with other labour market data — indicates that employment prospects in the economy are improving and that the labour market is strengthening.

Key points

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

On an annual basis, the number of advertised vacancies for skilled jobs was up 24.0%. Job advertisements have increased every month since June 2009, when they were at their lowest point: skilled vacancies by 26.6% and total vacancies by 29.7%.
Alongside positive employment growth, falling unemployment, and strong hiring intentions, Jobs Online shows that job prospects in the economy are improving. Despite the improvement, the number of skilled job advertisements in May 2010 remains 34.2% lower than in March 2008, when the index was at its peak.

Commentary

Job advertisements increase further...

Jobs Online shows that the number of job advertisements grew strongly over the three months to the end of May 2010. Job advertisements have increased every month since June 2009, when they were at their lowest point.

Total vacancies have increased by 7.5% in the three months to the end of May 2010 and by 29.7% since June 2009. Skilled vacancies [1] have increased by 8.2% in the three months to the end of May 2010 and by 26.6% since June 2009.
These trends are shown in Figure 1 below.

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

Trend series (May 2007=100)

Figure 1: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) and All Vacancies Index (AVI) Trend series (May 2007=100)

Data table for Figure 1

…indicating that the labour market has reached a turning point

Jobs Online, in conjunction with rising employment intentions [2], shows that employment prospects in the economy have improved. This is echoed in the results from the latest Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) which showed the number of people in employment rose by 1.0% (or 22,000 people) over the March 2010 quarter.

While employment prospects continue to improve, we believe that the unemployment rate will remain elevated over coming quarters and may rise from its current rate of 6.0% [3].

Skilled job advertisements have increased in most regions…

Table 1 shows that advertised skilled vacancies increased across most regions in the three months to the end of May 2010. Growth was the strongest in areas outside of the three main centres: up 12.2% in the South Island (outside of Christchurch) and up 11.6% in the North Island (outside of Auckland and Wellington). Vacancies in Wellington rose by 11.3% and in Auckland by 8.6%. Christchurch experienced a slight decline of 1.0%.

Skilled vacancies increased for all regions in the year to the end of May 2010.

Table 1: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region
Region Feb 10 – May 10 May 09 – May 10
Auckland 8.6% 29.8%
Wellington 11.3% 32.3%
North Island - other 11.6% 30.0%
Christchurch -1.0% 6.1%
South Island - other 12.2% 16.4%
Nationwide 8.2% 24.0%

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

Figure 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region

Trend series (May 2007=100)

Figure 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region - Trend series (May 2007=100)

Data table for Figure 2

and increased across all industries

As shown in Table 2, the number of advertised skilled vacancies increased across all industries in the three months to the end of May 2010. The biggest increases were in construction and engineering (up 17.1%); sales, retail, marketing & advertising (up 9.8%); and IT (up 9.0%).

Table 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group
Industry group Feb. 10 – May 10 May 09 – May 10
Construction and engineering 17.1% 15.1%
Sales, retail, marketing, advertising 9.8% 61.7%
IT 9.0% 35.2%
Hospitality 8.2% 48.3%
Health and medical 6.3% -1.5%
Education 4.9% 0.0%
Accounting, HR, legal, administration 2.6% 8.5%
Other 7.7% 33.9%

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

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

Trend series (May 2007=100)

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

Data table for Figure 3

…with vacancies increasing across all skilled occupational groups

Advertised skilled vacancy growth over the three months to the end of May 2010 was strong across all the major skilled occupation groups, as shown in Table 3 below. Job advertisements for technicians and trades workers showed the strongest growth over the quarter (up 12.9%), closely followed by professionals (up 8.4%). Annual growth was the strongest since the beginning of the series for all three occupations.

Table 3: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) for highest-skilled groups
Occupation group Feb 10 – May 10 May 09 – May 10
Managers 6.9% 36.6%
Professionals 8.4% 20.1%
Technicians and trades workers 12.9% 40.6%
All skilled occupations 8.2% 24.0%

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

Table 4: Change in advertised vacancies for selected skilled occupations
Three months to 31 May 2009 against three months to 31 May 2010.
Occupational Group 2-Digit Occupation May 09 – May 10
Managers Chief executives, general managers and legislators 14%
Specialist managers 39%
Hospitality, retail and service managers 26%
Professionals Arts and media professionals 14%
Business, human resource and marketing professionals 26%
Design, engineering, science and transport professionals 15%
Education professionals 14%
Health professionals -7%
ICT professionals 22%
Legal, social and welfare professionals 12%
Technicians and trades workers Engineering, ICT and science technicians 29%
Automotive and engineering trades workers 33%
Construction trades workers 101%
Electro-technology and telecommunications trades workers 12%
Food trades workers 40%
Skilled animal and horticultural workers 22%
Other technicians and trades workers 35%
Community and personal service workers Health and welfare support workers -2%
Sports and personal service workers 25%
Clerical and administrative workers Office managers and program administrators 55%
Personal assistants and secretaries 7%
Inquiry clerks and receptionists 81%
Other clerical and administrative workers 2%
Sales workers Sales representatives and agents 23%
Note: this is not a trend series, and so 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 [4]. 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 [5], 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). Skill level 3 is equivalent to an NCEA level 4 qualification.

[2] NZIER’s Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion and the National Bank’s Business Outlook.

[3] See Department of Labour, May 2010 Labour Market update: http://dol.govt.nz/publications/lmr/lmr-labour-market-update.asp

[4] 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.

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