Job ads rose 1 per cent last might after a 0.6 per cent dip in January, according to the latest ANZ New Zealand Job Advertisement series.
But the monthly lift was driven mainly by a 2 per cent rise in internet jobs while newspaper job ads fell 4.4 per cent. Newspaper job ads rose in Canterbury, apparently due to the rebuild, but fell everywhere else.
Online advertising was also strong in Canterbury and Auckland, but weak in Wellington where it fell against the trend.
The series "composite" total for job advertising, which places more weight on newspaper advertising, fell 1.1 per cent in February and is 7.4 per cent lower than a year ago.
ANZ said the series points to the unemployment rate bouncing around the 7 per cent mark for a further six months, with the labour market remaining the missing ingredient for a sustained economic upturn nationally.
Regionally, the disparate job ads data underscores the difficulty the Reserve Bank is facing setting the same monetary policy for all, the bank said.