Job market slows ahead of summer shutdown

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 11:13 12/11/2012

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The job market is in a better place than this time last year but is slowing as companies put off hiring until the new year, according to Seek.

Data released today by New Zealand's largest job site showed a 4.7 per cent increase on last year's job ad placements, however a 2.1 per cent drop on last month.

These come however, after Statistics New Zealand released figures last week showing New Zealand unemployment had reached 7.3 per cent -  its worst rate since early 1999, 13 years ago.

Seek general manager Janet Faulding said the figures she released today were still encouraging.

"We have seen some strong year-on-year gains in the market with the New Job Index up 4.7 per cent and the Seek Employment Index up 6.6 per cent from this time last year. The decreases in both indexes seen from September 2012 to October 2012 are typical for this time of year in the lead up to the holiday season."

She expected to see easing job rates this year, offset by significant rises in both job numbers and applications in the New Year.

Last month also showed a dip in both indexes.

The New Job Ad Index dropped 2.1 per cent and the Seek Employment Index fell 2.9 per cent - an indication that the number of new job ads listed on seek.co.nz (www.seek.co.nz) grew at a slower rate than applications for those role.

The Christchurch rebuild may finally be having an effect on the job market in Canterbury, with that region the only one in October showing any signs of employment growth.

It was the only place in New Zealand where the Seek Employment Index showed an increase - rising to 8.3 per cent on the previous year. The jump indicates significantly more jobs in the region than applicants.

Faulding said although the labour market had eased in many other parts of the country, that did not mean it had dropped entirely.

According to figures from seek, plumbers and construction machinery operators topped the list for the fastest growing jobs in New Zealand.

Pharmacists took out the number three spot , with the top five list rounded out by manufacturing managers and civil engineers.

Faulding said the typical dip in job searches at this time of the year was starting to even out as people continued to search for jobs from their mobile phone throughout the holidays.

"Traditionally the job market does tend to slow down at this time of year, but as job-seekers continue to adopt mobile devices for their job search activity, it will be interesting to see if this dip becomes a thing of the past. 

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"Last year, we saw plenty of job-seeker activity throughout the holidays, with close to 50,000 visits a day to seek.co.nz recorded in December 2011."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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