New Zealand's labour market improved mildly last month with a small rise in the number of new online job advertisements, according to employment site Seek.
New job ad listings on seek.co.nz increased 0.5 per cent from February to March, and were up 4.9 per cent nationally compared to a year ago.
Auckland and Wellington lifted by 0.3 per cent and 1.8 per cent but Canterbury fell by 0.7 per cent.
Janet Faulding, general manager of Seek NZ, said Auckland had seen considerable growth in new jobs ads over the past three months, with a rise of 7.5 per cent since December.
The number of new Seek jobs advertised in Wellington has increased 3 per cent in the same period.
"The New Zealand employment market has started the year strongly, with demand for labour rising steadily," Faulding said.
"It is encouraging to see new job ads have continued to grow this past month in Auckland and have turned around in Wellington after a soft start to the capital's job market this year."
At the same time, job applications are outstripping the number of new job ads being listed.
The Seek Employment Index (SEI), which measures the number of new job ads against the number of applications received for those roles, fell by 4.4 per cent nationally.
"The SEI data for March shows that jobseekers are growing in confidence as demand for labour increases," Faulding said.
"People are clearly responding to the stimulated employment market and seeking more opportunities to find that exciting new role."
Meanwhile, figures out today from Trade Me showed job vacancies in the last quarter were up 5.3 per cent on the previous year.
Ginny Ryder, head of Trade Me Jobs, said there were hints of a slow shift in favour of job hunters as job numbers rose, and demand fell.
"That's good news for people hunting that dream job," she said.
Ryder said there was a "two-speed" employment market in New Zealand - Christchurch and Auckland were the "powerhouses" but Wellington was "stuck in second gear".
Some parts of Auckland were showing strong annual growth, with Manukau and the North Shore up 9 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
Wellington had a 7.2 per cent drop in listings and a 13.9 per cent increase in applications.
Canterbury experienced 16.5 per cent growth in new listings.
The most in demand occupations on Seek.co.nz during March
1. IT consultants
2. Engineering managers
3. Local government
4. Private practice solicitors