Employers are back in the driver's seat with data from SEEK showing there has been a swing in the New Zealand job market in their favour.
The SEEK Employment Index (SEI), which measures the ratio of new job ads listed on SEEK's website to applications received for those roles, saw a minor dip of 0.9% in October. This indicates that the number of applicants grew faster than the supply of jobs, pointing to more competitive conditions for candidates looking for their next role.
Janet Faulding, General Manager SEEK New Zealand, said while it may seem at odds with recent solid growth the employment market is still on a positive trajectory
“These results may seem puzzling off the back of strong growth reported in recent months but what we’re seeing here isn’t a dramatic turnaround. The marginal change in the Seek Employment Index indicates the number of Kiwis seeking out their next role has increased at a greater rate than available jobs but, overall, the outlook is still optimistic with job opportunities up almost 12 per cent year on year,” Faulding explained.
“More competitive job hunting conditions are typical of this time of year as universities and schools shut their doors for the summer and the number of people looking for work increases. We expect to see labour market supply catch up in the New Year, a time where we usually see significant rises in both job numbers.”
As reported last week, Statistics New Zealand announced that employment is keeping up with the country's growing population with unemployment falling to 5.4%.
Labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay explained: “We had 72,000 more people employed over the year, greater than the additional 64,000 people in the population. This pushed our employment rate up, to 65.2 of every 100 adults being in employment.”
Ramsay adds it is, however, a mixed bag when it comes to wages.
“Annual wage inflation was 1.6%, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI). This is in line with the past four quarters. Although private sector wage inflation was 1.9%, growth in pay rates for the public sector has slowed to 1.0%.”
The figures from Statistics New Zealand also reveal that number of people employed has grown 3.2 % since September 2013, while demand for workers from established businesses rose 3.0% in the Quarterly Employment Survey – the largest annual increase in over six years.
The construction industry accounted for almost half the annual employment growth with just over 40% of that growth is in Canterbury, with a further 17% being in Auckland.