Job applications grew at a faster rate than the number of jobs available on one of the country's biggest employment sites last month.
Seek.co.nz said its Employment Index - which measures the ratio of new job ads to the number of applications received for those jobs - fell by 0.6 per cent in January.
Canterbury saw a 9.3 per cent increase in job applications last month, said general manager Janet Faulding.
"This could potentially be the result of people looking to capitalise on the new job opportunities that form part of the rebuild project.
"Increased applications means increased competition for job seekers and it becomes more important than ever to ensure your application stands out in the pile."
On a more positive note, the number of new job ads posted on Seek last month was 0.7 per cent up on December and 3.9 per cent more than a year ago.
"The year-on-year increase of 3.9 per cent in new job ads seen in January points to a strong start to a traditionally busy hiring period between January and March," Faulding said.
Although Wellington experienced a 1.9 per cent fall in new job ads last month, Auckland and Canterbury increased by 2.6 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.
Faulding said she expected job ads to rise as employers tended to backfill vacancies and expand operations in the new year.
Fastest growing jobs in the country (in the quarter to January 2013)
• Early childhood teachers up 118pc
• Commercial lawyers up 70pc
• Retail merchandisers up 58pc
• Assembly workers up 58pc
• Financial/Banking account managers up 58pc