It could be a good year to be in the market for a job, say recruitment experts, with employers facing more competition to snap up the right person for the job.
Seek.co.nz figures show that Waikato job listings rose to 12,000 last year, up 2 per cent on 2012.
However, the owner of recruitment agency Success Personnel, Graham Rodgers, said he would have put the increase in listings at closer to 5 per cent, and he expects the trend to continue.
The increase in demand for labour was especially noticeable in construction and blue collar jobs, he said.
"What we're finding, especially for the last two or three years, when we've been advertising, is that many of the candidates that have been applying have been inbetween jobs or been looking for work.
"What we're having to do now is, especially for specialised jobs, we're more and more having to approach people who are already in work, and then either look at having to poach them or encourage them to shift or finding out what they're wanting."
Construction workers or engineers who had gone down to the South Island to help out with the Canterbury rebuild were returning, as in some cases the pay was not as good as they had expected.
However, there were still not enough of them to fill vacancies here.
"You've also got the Auckland market swallowing up staff as well," he said.
"And it's not just filling current vacancies in the Waikato, it's looking to fill vacancies that will be coming on stream."
He said employers were slow at picking up the message that labour was in short supply.
"One of the issues we've got with employers is to get them to meet with the candidates we are finding within two or three days.
"A lot of them are busy and say: ‘Oh, can I get back to you next week?' They're [the candidates] gone by then.
"You've got to move quickly when they're around."
He said indications heading into 2014 were that the pool of candidates available would continue to shrink.
"I expect it to be harder to find good candidates for the roles people are wanting to fill."
General manager of recruitment agency Alignz, Lesa Tyrell, also said they thought the Seek.co.nz figures were on the low side.
Tyrell said the pinch in available workers was particularly noticeable in the trades.
"The big demand at the moment is for trade staff in the Waikato and also in the North Island.
"Most of our tradespeople are going to Christchurch to help out and they leave their North Island companies."
He said a lot of staff were also heading overseas.
"I believe it's going to get more difficult to find staff."
Seek.co.nz PR and marketing manager Sarah Wesley said the top five jobs by vacancy in the Waikato during 2013 were trades and services, healthcare and medical, sales, administration and office, followed by manufacturing, transport and logistics.
She said that July was the most popular month to get a job.
In total 1106 were accepted in 2013, she said.
December was the quietest month to find a job, following the national trend.
Nationally, 1000 more jobs were listed last year than the year before, an increase of 0.4 per cent.
That added up to a total of 252,000 new job opportunities being advertised last year. email@example.com
Top eight regions by percentage growth (figures from Seek.co.nz)
Taranaki 14 per cent
Bay of Plenty 13 per cent
Manawatu 4 per cent
Otago 3 per cent
Canterbury 3 per cent
Waikato 2 per cent
Northland 2 per cent
Auckland 1 per cent