Jobseekers in control as record number of jobs on offer and unemployment at all time low

Jobseekers are “in the driver’s seat” with a record number of advertised positions and low unemployment.

Just released figures from employment site Seek show an 88 per cent jump in advertised jobs this month compared to the same time in 2020.

The number of jobs on offer has also increased 2 per cent each month for the past five months – peaking in July at the highest number ever advertised.

But with the number of people unemployed in New Zealand dropping by more than 1000 a week in recent months the number of people applying for jobs is declining.

Rob Clark from Seek NZ said this has put job seekers “in the driver’s seat” with significant growth across major industries and regions.

“Right now we have almost 10,000 jobs on seek.co.nz in the manufacturing, transport and logistics, information and communication technology and trades and services sectors,” Clark said.

“These industries are some of New Zealand’s largest, so while job ad growth declined overall for the month, they still continued to make up a large percentage of jobs available right now.”

Key regional areas including Taranaki and Gisborne also saw some positive growth of 14 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. Southland had 32 per cent more roles and Otago had 29 percent.

Auckland had 2 per cent growth and Canterbury 5 per cent.

Katherine Swan, New Zealand director at HR and recruitment company Randstad,
said the “candidate market” meant employers needed to put their best foot forward when looking for talent.

“Right now sought-after jobseekers have a choice of organisations and often have multiple job offers,” Swan said.

“For some, there are counteroffers so it is about companies putting their best foot forward and understanding they are being interviewed as well.”

A skills shortage across most industries from technology, digital, engineering and construction to hospitality and customer service roles was one of the reasons there were fewer people applying for roles Swan said.

The shortage was due to closed borders because of Covid-19 and the fast growth in some industries.

What candidates saw as their “non-negotiable” requirements in a new job had changed since Covid hit New Zealand in February 2020.

Work-life balance and flexibility were now the top drivers for jobseekers.

Swan said Randstad’s employer branding research showed attractive salary and benefits were now second to work-life balance.

“People want to know what flexible work arrangements look like and if it will suit them personally.

“For some it might be three days working from home, for others, it might be a late start or early finish and for others, it might be time off in the day to go to the gym.

“They want a role that allows work-life balance, they are looking for a secure, pleasant atmosphere and training opportunities as well.”

Clark from Seek NZ echoed this and said jobseekers were increasingly looking at advertised jobs offering flexibility.

“Nearly two-thirds of Kiwis look for flexible hours, while more than half want flexibility on working location.

Car parks are also in the top perks desired by jobseekers, with nearly half indicating they look for a park while job hunting.

Jobseekers in control:
• Seek.co.nz has its highest number of jobs ever advertised.
• Seek job ads were up by 2 per cent month-on-month.
• Seek job ads were up by 88 per cent in July 2021 when compared to July 2020
• Applications per job ad fell 9 per cent month on month
• Industries offering the largest opportunity for jobseekers were trades and services, manufacturing, transport & logistics and information communication & technology

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