Trade Me job listings for Tauranga are on the rise, new figures show.
Trade Me statistics released yesterday show job listings rose by 27 per cent in the second quarter of the year in comparison with the same period last year. It was the third biggest increase in the country behind Gisborne and Otago.
However, Trade Me said the figures also showed the gender divide to be "alive and well in the New Zealand employment market".
The percentage of applicants applying jobs paying $100,000 and over rose significantly for men but dropped to 30 per cent for women, in the Bay of Plenty region.
Sixty-eight per cent of applicants for jobs between $80,000-$99,999 were men, while 32 per cent were women.
Zonta president Brooke Courtney said that looking at the performance of the women in the education system made it easy to think the Bay of Plenty was "doing great".
"Unfortunately, the statistics for gender equality in employment are not so healthy, particularly in relation to women in top tier roles and historically 'male' industries.
"As a modern city in 2016, Tauranga still has a long way to go and the recent statistics highlight that fact.
"Women choosing to be at home with their families clearly impacts on the numbers, but the national gender pay gap of more than 11 per cent (2015) reflects there is a bigger problem."
Business Women's Network chair Kathryn Lellman said the issue of progressing in terms of job payment was often affected by issues such as having children, but it was up to a company to decide how much human capital was worth.
"As people's seniority increases, that also tends to collide with them having a family and so then they take time out of their careers or move to a part-time basis, I think that's where the challenges are often not met."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said he was disappointed that the figures of the gender pay band showed there was little progress in closing the pay gap between men and women in the Bay.
"While the Tauranga job market is becoming more sophisticated and equal at one level - look for example at the number of women leaders we have in senior public sector roles here - it is probably not keeping up across the board, and barriers can be slow to break down in more traditional work roles and sectors."
The Staffroom recruitment agency director Jill Cachemaille said they had not noticed a difference between men and women in applying for higher paying roles.
"What we find is that in the more senior roles we get a good mix of men and women, it really just depends on the desired skill sets," Mrs Cachemaille said.
She said although the momentum on the job boom had remained the same for them compared to the last quarter, there was a change in the type of roles they were recruiting for.
"It's harder to find any candidates in the construction industry than any other advertised for a job," she said.
Tauranga deputy mayor Kelvin Clout said he was very pleased with the increase in job opportunities in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.
Mr Clout said the gender pay band disparity was "a fact of life". "It's a fact of different aspirations between men and women and can be just a fact of women primarily being the primary caregiver of children, that impacts on the amount of time and years they can have in specific careers. I'm all for trying to get that a little more in balance...."
He said employers did have the opportunity to provide workers with flexible working conditions.
He said the council was conscious of providing a commitment to equal opportunities in the workplace.
Annie Hill of Priority One said the sectors which had grown the most in the
Bay of Plenty were professional services, IT, health, horticulture and specialised manufacturing/engineering.
Tradies in demand
Skilled tradesmen continue to be in hot demand in Tauranga.
The trades and services industry has seen the most significant growth of any sector across the Bay of Plenty. At 5pm yesterday there were 253 Tauranga-based trades and services jobs advertised on Trademe.
JT Plumbing and Drainage co-owner Tania Vinson said they were constantly on the look out for good staff and had increased their staffing numbers from about 19 staff to 25 in the last year.
"We're just always looking for people - the right people. Getting a qualified tradesperson is difficult at the moment. There are not really any there."
Mrs Vinson said business had picked up throughout the last year but had been most noticeable in the last six months so staff were flat out.
"It's crazy at the moment so you're constantly balancing up having the right staff with the workload," she said.
"It's so easy to get a job if you're qualified here."
Mrs Vinson said the company had taken on more apprentices to keep up with demand.
"We really feel strongly that for the industry to be viable in the future we have to [take on apprentices]. It takes six years to become a craftsman plumber or four years to become a registered plumber."
She put the increase in demand down to more people moving to town.
"It does seem that people want houses and that's the business we're in and also commercial stuff is picking up in Tauriko."
Oceanside Joinery Installations owner Mike Bills said business had picked up for him over the last six months as well.
He had about nine staff and could do with another two but agreed finding people with skills was tough.
"Anyone who's got skills is doing something. It's getting harder and harder to get someone."
Mr Bills said he had taken to always having an ad up for new staff on Trademe in the hope of attracting good staff.
"You're fishing all the time and you know if you find someone good it probably won't be too hard to find work for them. It used to be the other way around.
He too put the increase in work down to more people moving to the Bay because housing was often better value for money than in Auckland.
- Amy Wiggins