Pay packets remain high despite NZ ICT jobs growth hitting the skids

The New Zealand employment market is in “excellent health” and set for another solid year of growth, despite the slowing down of the ICT industry.

The New Zealand employment market is in “excellent health” and set for another solid year of growth, despite the ICT industry slowing down in terms of hiring new talent.

Following analysis of over 54,000 roles listed on Trade Me Jobs in the first quarter of 2015, the number of job listings across the country increased 8.5% year-on-year, with solid growth in 12 out of 15 regions.

“Last year was a cracker year for the job market so it’s good to see that trend continue in 2015,” says Peter Osborne, Head of Trade Me Jobs.

“It’s also wonderful to see job hunters are the most optimistic they’ve been since the recession, according to Westpac McDermott Miller’s latest research.”

In ICT however, Osborne report that the rate of growth in the sector had “braked over the quarter”, down from 17.6% year-on-year growth in the final quarter of 2014 to 2.9% growth in the quarter ended March 2015.

“This hasn’t affected the pay packets on offer, though – all of our top five highest-paying roles are still in IT,” he adds, confirming that average pay increased 3.5% on the previous year, while the average number of applications per listing declined by 3.1%.

Broadly speaking, Osborne says there was “a definite slow-down” over the past 10 days of the quarter, most likely caused by the end of the financial year, Easter looming large and a dose of “Black Cap fever”.

Osborne adds that Auckland was “full steam ahead” for early 2015 following strong growth in job listings.

“We saw the number of advertised jobs in the Super City up 16 per cent compared to the same time last year, underpinned by listings surges in Waitakere (up 32.6%), Manukau (up 20.6%) and the central city (up 12.8%),” he adds.

“It’s encouraging to see the engine room and biggest contributor to the employment market thrive, and we expect this growth trend to continue.”

Osborne says Canterbury and Wellington showed a “more muted” result this quarter.

“Job listings in Canterbury were up 6% year-on-year,” he reports. “Compared to last quarter’s rise of 10% it is more subdued, but the story of the rebuild continues to drive activity.”

Osborne says Wellington had “dipped into negative territory”, with the number of roles listed down 6% on the same time last year - this was driven by a drop in advertised roles available in Upper Hutt (down 28%) and Wellington City (down 10.6%).

Read more: Trade Me tracking well

But it was not all doom and gloom in the capital, with the region boasting the highest average full-time salary of $76,317, ahead of Auckland City on $73,448 and Grey on the West Coast at $59,793.

The national picture

Twelve of the 15 regions around the country showed growth in job listings, including Bay of Plenty (up 26.8%), Marlborough (up 26%) and Otago (up 14.7%).

“It’s great to see positive figures on the board for most of New Zealand,” Osborne adds.

Taranaki and Gisborne joined Wellington’s decline in listings on last year, with listing numbers down 19% and 3% respectively.

Looking ahead

“Towards the back end of 2014 there was some uncertainty as to whether 2015 would start strongly, with various consumer and business confidence indices undecided on the prospects of growth,” Osborne adds.

“The first three months of the year are traditionally when we see the highest number of jobs advertised and are a good indication of the short to medium term trend.”

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