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Jobs Online monthly report – November 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 November 2010. The increase in job vacancies — in conjunction with other labour market data — indicates that employment prospects in the economy have improved but growth in job vacancies is easing.

Key points

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

The growth in job vacancies has eased slightly compared to October 2010 (where skilled vacancies increased by 3.0% and total vacancies increased by 3.2% in October) but continues to remain positive.

The number of job vacancies has increased consistently since June 2009, when they were at their lowest point due to the recession. Since then, skilled vacancies have increased by 43.6%, and total vacancies have increased by 47.0%.

Despite the increase in vacancies as measured by Jobs Online, the number of skilled job advertisements in November 2010 remains 25.7% lower than in March 2008, when the index was at its peak. However, we expect the upward trends shown by Jobs Online to continue over the next year in line with the recovery in the labour market.

Commentary

Job advertisements increase further…

Jobs Online shows that the number of job advertisements continued to grow over the three months to the end of November 2010. Job advertisements have been increasing consistently since June 2009, when they were at their lowest point due to the recession. Since June 2009, total vacancies are up by 47.0% and skilled vacancies up by 43.6%.

Growth in job advertisements has eased over recent months. Total vacancies increased by 2.6% in the three months to the end of November 2010, down from 7.4% in the three months to August 2010. Nevertheless, they remain 35.0% higher than a year ago. Skilled vacancies[1] increased by 2.7% in the three months to the end of November 2010. This is down by around five percentage points compared to growth in the three months to August 2010. Over the past year, skilled vacancies increased by 34.2%.

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

…as the labour market continues to recover.

Jobs Online indicates that employment prospects in the economy continue to improve. This is consistent with the latest results from National Bank’s Business Outlook and NZIER’s Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion which both show employers intend to increase staffing levels in the short-term. This is in line with the Department’s view of a continued recovery in employment over the coming year.

The latest Household and Labour Force Survey (HLFS) results show that the unemployment rate dropped from 6.9% to 6.4% and the number of people in employment rose by 1.0% (or 23,000 people) over the September 2010 quarter. Although labour market data has been volatile over recent months, the trend clearly shows that the unemployment rate peaked in the December 2009 quarter and has gradually fallen since then. This is consistent with our view of a slowly recovering labour market.

We expect continued employment growth over the next year which will see the unemployment rate trend down gradually, falling to around 6% by mid-2011.

Skilled job advertisements have increased in most regions…

Skilled vacancies increased in most regions in the three months to November 2010. Table 1 shows that growth was the strongest in Auckland (up 5.1%) and Christchurch (up 4.1%). Skilled vacancies also rose by 2.2% in Wellington and by 0.2% in the North Island (excluding Auckland and Wellington). However, there was a drop of 7.9% in skilled vacancies in the South Island (excluding Christchurch) during this period. On an annual basis, skilled vacancies increased for all regions.

The main drivers of growth in skilled vacancies in Auckland over the last three months were the hospitality and tourism (up 12.1%), and IT (up 8.8%) industries.

In Christchurch, the construction and engineering industry continues to have the strongest growth (up 13.6%). This compares to a fall in advertised job vacancies in this industry of 0.4% nationally. The strong growth in Canterbury is to be expected given the reconstruction activity needed following the earthquake.

Table 1 : Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region
Region Aug 10 – Nov 10 Nov 09 – Nov 10
Auckland 5.1% 43.3%
Wellington 2.2% 33.9%
North Island – other 0.2% 27.8%
Christchurch 4.1% 24.2%
South Island – other -7.9% 7.0%
Nationwide 2.7% 34.2%

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 in most industries.

Table 2 shows that growth in the number of advertised skilled vacancies varied significantly across industry groups. The largest increases in the three months to November 2010 were in hospitality and tourism (up 7.5%), IT (up 7.3%) and accounting, HR, legal and administration (up 3.3%).

Despite growth in Christchurch, there is a drop of 0.4% in job vacancies in the construction and engineering industry nationally. Other industries that showed a decrease in job vacancies were education and training (down 0.9%), sales, retail, marketing and advertising (down 1.0%) and healthcare and medical (down 2.7%).

Table 2: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group
Industry group Aug 10 – Nov 10 Nov 09 – Nov 10
Hospitality and tourism 7.5% 36.0%
IT 7.3% 61.3%
Accounting, HR, legal, administration 3.3% 21.2%
Construction and engineering -0.4% 39.4%
Education and training -0.9% 3.8%
Sales, retail, marketing, advertising -1.0% 24.9%
Healthcare and medical -2.7% 4.1%
Other 5.4% 43.1%

Figure 3 below shows the long-term vacancy trends for 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

Vacancies increased across all skilled occupational groups.

Advertised skilled vacancy growth has increased across all the major skilled occupational groups, as shown in Table 3. Job advertisements for technicians and trades workers showed the strongest growth in the three months to November 2010 (up 6.6%), followed by managers (up 3.1%).

Table 3: Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) for highest-skilled groups
Occupational group Aug 10 – Nov 10 Nov 09 – Nov 10
Managers 3.1% 28.9%
Professionals 1.4% 32.9%
Technicians and trades workers 6.6% 50.9%
All skilled occupations 2.7% 34.2%

Table 4 takes a more detailed look at occupational groups, and shows that vacancies for most of the groups have exceeded their November 2009 levels. The percentages in Table 4 represent the change in the average number of job advertisements in the three months to 30 November 2010 from the average number in the three months to 30 November 2009.

Table 4: Change in advertised vacancies for selected skilled occupations[2]
Three months to 30 November 2009 against three months to 30 November 2010.
Occupational Group Sub group[3] Nov 09 – Nov 10
Managers Chief executives, general managers and legislators 28%
Specialist managers 31%
Hospitality, retail and service managers 26%
Professionals Arts and media professionals 39%
Business, human resource and marketing professionals 30%
Design, engineering, science and transport professionals 38%
Education professionals -2%
Health professionals -9%
ICT professionals 64%
Legal, social and welfare professionals 17%
Technicians and trades workers Engineering, ICT and science technicians 41%
Automotive and engineering trades workers 75%
Construction trades workers 66%
Electro-technology and telecommunications trades workers 64%
Food trades workers 39%
Skilled animal and horticultural workers 50%
Other technicians and trades workers 31%
Community and personal service workers Health and welfare support workers -2%
Sports and personal service workers 33%
Clerical and administrative workers Office managers and program administrators 37%
Personal assistants and secretaries 27%
Inquiry clerks and receptionists 77%
Other clerical and administrative workers 40%
Sales workers Sales representatives and agents 16%

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 Information and Analysis 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] 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.

[3] ANZSCO 2006 2-digit occupational groupings.

[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.