Home > Research Centre > Labour Market and Skills > Jobs Online > October 2010

Jobs Online monthly report – October 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 October 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 October 2010:

The growth in job vacancies has eased slightly compared to September 2010 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 41.7%, and total vacancies have increased by 45.6%.

Despite the increases in vacancies as measured by Jobs Online, the number of skilled job advertisements in October 2010 remains 26.7% 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 October 2010. Job advertisements have been increasing consistently since June 2009, when they were at their lowest point due to the recession, with total vacancies up by 45.6% and skilled vacancies up by 41.7%.

Growth in job advertisements has eased over recent months. Total vacancies increased by 3.2% in the three months to the end of October 2010 and by 38.1% over the past year. Skilled vacancies[1] increased by 3.0% in the three months to the end of October 2010. This is down by around five percentage points compared to growth in the three months to July 2010. Over the past year, skilled vacancies increased by 35.8%.

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. Latest results from National Bank’s Business Outlook and NZIER’s Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion which both point towards further employment growth over the coming year. The latest BERL forecasts for September 2010 expects a modest recovery in jobs numbers.

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 October 2010. Table 1 shows that growth was the strongest in Christchurch (up 6.1%) and Auckland (up 4.0%). Skilled vacancies also rose by 1.0% in Wellington and by 0.4% in the North Island (excluding Auckland and Wellington). However, there was a drop of 5.6% in skilled vacancies in the South Island (excluding Christchurch) during this period.

In the year to October 2010, skilled vacancies increased for all regions.

The main driver of the increase in Christchurch over the last three months is in the construction and engineering industry (up 8.2%) compared to a fall in advertised job vacancies in this industry of 1.7% nationally. This is to be expected with the increasing earthquake-related activity during this period. Other industries that have the strongest growth in this region are in hospitality and tourism (up 7.4%) and IT (up 6.6%).

In Auckland, the main drivers of growth in skilled advertised vacancies in this region are in the IT (up 10.3%) and hospitality and tourism (up 9.3%) industries.

Table 1 : Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by region
Region Jul10 – Oct 10 Oct 09 –Oct 10
Auckland 4.0% 42.0%
Wellington 1.0% 36.3%
North Island – other 0.4% 31.6%
Christchurch 6.1% 26.0%
South Island – other -5.6% 13.3%
Nationwide 3.0% 35.8%

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 October 2010 were in IT (up 8.8%) and accounting, HR, legal and administration (up 3.7%). Other industries that showed growth were in hospitality and tourism (up 1.2%) and, health and medical (0.9%).

Industries that showed a decrease in job vacancies were in education and training (down 1.5%), construction and engineering (down 1.7%) and, sales, retail, marketing and advertising (down 3.9%).

Table 2 : Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) by industry group
Industry group Jul 10 – Oct 10 Oct 09 – Oct 10
IT 8.8% 63.8%
Accounting, HR, legal, administration 3.7% 22.7%
Hospitality and tourism 1.2% 27.8%
Health and medical 0.9% 7.7%
Education and training -1.5% 2.6%
Construction and engineering -1.7% 38.9%
Sales, retail, marketing, advertising -3.9% 28.8%
Other 5.0% 44.2%

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 October 2010 (up 4.5%), followed by professionals (up 2.2%).

Table 3 : Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI) for highest-skilled groups
Occupational group Jul 10 – Oct 10 Oct 09 – Oct 10
Managers 1.4% 28.3%
Professionals 2.2% 35.8%
Technicians and trades workers 4.5% 49.1%
All skilled occupations 3.0% 35.8%

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

Table 4 : Change in advertised vacancies for selected skilled occupations[2]
Three months to 31 October 2009 against three months to 31 October 2010.
Occupational Group Sub group[3] Oct 09 – Oct 10
Managers Chief executives, general managers and legislators

26%

Specialist managers

30%

Hospitality, retail and service managers

23%

Professionals Arts and media professionals

43%

Business, human resource and marketing professionals

36%

Design, engineering, science and transport professionals

29%

Education professionals

1%

Health professionals

-3%

ICT professionals

57%

Legal, social and welfare professionals

22%

Technicians and trades workers Engineering, ICT and science technicians

55%

Automotive and engineering trades workers

68%

Construction trades workers

63%

Electro-technology and telecommunications trades workers

46%

Food trades workers

34%

Skilled animal and horticultural workers

36%

Other technicians and trades workers

35%

Community and personal service workers Health and welfare support workers

6%

Sports and personal service workers

47%

Clerical and administrative workers Office managers and program administrators

44%

Personal assistants and secretaries

23%

Inquiry clerks and receptionists

73%

Other clerical and administrative workers

33%

Sales workers Sales representatives and agents

14%

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) 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.