Nelson's employment market appears to be booming, with a dramatic increase in the number of jobs available compared with last year, according to new figures.
Quarter two results from job seeker site Trade Me Jobs show the number of jobs listed in Nelson and Tasman was up 26 per cent compared with the same quarter last year, far higher than the 8.2 per cent rise for the rest of the country.
There were 634 listings in this period for the region. The number of job listings was up in both Nelson – 26 per cent – and Tasman – 23 per cent – though listings in Nelson made up 82 per cent and were driving most of the growth.
Compared with the same quarter last year, the number of fulltime roles was up 20 per cent, and for part-time was up 45 per cent.
The top-five job categories were trades, up 51 per cent, healthcare, up 65 per cent, construction, up 155 per cent, hospitality, up 40 per cent, and agriculture, up 79 per cent.
But the average number of applications per listing was down by about 9 per cent on the same period last year.
Vacancies listed with Work and Income for the Nelson-Tasman area during the April to June quarter this year were 207 – 65 more than the June quarter in 2011.
The number of Work and Income clients placed in work also increased this year, with 181 people moving into work, compared with 108 in the June 2011 quarter.
Social Development Ministry regional commissioner Lynne Williams said she would normally expect more people to be looking for work at the end of the apple harvest, and winter was traditionally a time where work was harder to find in the region.
"Although we are seeing regional fluctuations and a reasonable number of job seekers needing financial support, it is heartening to see that more people have found employment in the June quarter this year, compared to the same time last year."
Fanselow Bell human resources and recruitment company director Judy Fanselow said she had not noticed a significant rise in jobs being offered, but her company dealt with higher-end roles.
She had noticed more applicants who, once they were offered a position, turned it down because they had been hired elsewhere.
"People have got more choices, if you leave it too long, if the client is slow to come back on shortlisting, some of our people will have left and found other jobs."
A typical office administrator role was likely to attract about 40 to 50 applicants, well down on the hundreds that had usually applied in the middle of the recession, she said.
There were always pockets of industry that were doing well, she said.
"I always think Nelson does pretty well at riding through difficult times because we have got such a range here of different industries and sectors. One might be down but another's up."
Nelson Economic Development Agency chief executive Bill Findlater said strong retail sales and a drop in the exchange rate had lent an air of positivity to the region.
"There's not that downhearted feel around the region at the moment."
He was unsure how much Trade Me was used for job-hunting in the region, and suggested more people used the Nelson Mail when they were looking for work.
He did not expect the Christchurch rebuild to dramatically affect the job market in Nelson.
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