Jobs report shows bounce in online ads, but still well below 2019


Online job advertising grew by 6.4 per cent in the December quarter compared with the September quarter, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says.

But the number of jobs being advertised online was 7.9 per cent below the same time in 2019, according to MBIE’s Jobs Online report.

Jobs ads for professional roles had the strongest percentage increase, up 7.3 per cent in the December quarter, followed by clerical and administration, up 6.2 per cent, and sales, up 5.1 per cent.

The hospitality sector continued to show the effects of Covid-19, with online job ads down 1.5 per cent compared with September’s results.

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All the regions had increases in the number of advertised available jobs, with the biggest growth in Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay, up 9.1 per cent, and Wellington, up 9 per cent.

The number of online job listings rose in the December quarter but is still down on 2019.

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The number of online job listings rose in the December quarter but is still down on 2019.

But advertised vacancies fell in seven out of nine industries over the year to December 2020, with decreases ranging from 0.4 to 28.1 per cent.

The number of jobs advertised over the last year in business services dropped 28.1 per cent while jobs in hospitality dropped 20.2 per cent.

Regionally, the year-long picture showed the impact of the global pandemic.

In Auckland, the number of advertised jobs dropped 17.6 per cent, in Waikato advertised jobs fell 6.1 per cent, Wellington was down 0.4 per cent and in Canterbury the number of advertised jobs dropped by 8.1 per cent.

But in Hawke’s Bay the number of jobs advertised over the last 12 months increased in 15.5 per cent and in Manawatū-Whanganui and Taranaki jobs increased by 7.9 per cent.

Infometrics senior economist Brad Olsen said the numbers confirmed the labour market was improving but wasn’t out of the woods just yet.

“The strength coming through in terms of the additional job listings is highlighting that there are a number of businesses out there wanting to get more workers,” he said.

The unevenness across the regions reflected the current economic environment, Olsen said.

Regions that had a greater focus on tourism had been harder hit by the spread of the virus and the closure of New Zealand’s borders, he said.

Economist Brad Olsen says there is a growing mismatch between the skills of workers and what firms are looking for, leaving businesses scrambling to find the right employees.

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Economist Brad Olsen says there is a growing mismatch between the skills of workers and what firms are looking for, leaving businesses scrambling to find the right employees.

The regions were also benefiting from businesses that have decided to move out of the city centres and shake up their operations, he said.

Olsen expected the number of job listings to continue to grow.

“The question remains whether firms will get the right people into these areas. We continue to hear industries that are crying out for workers and the mismatch between what skills workers have and what businesses want is growing,” he said.

Companies may also move to part-time or flexible roles rather than cut jobs, he said.



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