The number of online job ads fell by 2 per cent last month after a 7.4 per cent increase in January, latest figures show.
The monthly Jobs Online report, released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), shows the decline was driven by decreases in skilled vacancies in most industries.
The largest fall was in the healthcare and medical industry, which was down 4.4 per cent compared with January. That was followed by accounting, HR, legal and administration (down 3.4 per cent) and information technology (down 2.5 per cent).
Vacancies in the hospitality and tourism industry were up by 9.9 per cent, while the construction and engineering industry increased by 2.4 per cent.
The drop in skilled vacancies was steepest in Canterbury, which saw a fall of 4.8 per cent, followed by the rest of the South Island, down 4.5 per cent.
The North Island, excluding Auckland, was the only region to experience growth, with skilled jobs up 3.1 per cent.
MBIE labour market and business performance manager David Paterson said despite last month's fall, the overall trend remained positive and annual growth was strong in most industries and regions.
"Business confidence is at its highest level since 1994, according to the latest ANZ Business Outlook. Optimism in the business sector is likely to support growth in vacancies in the coming months," he said.
In the year to February, skilled vacancies increased by 16.4 per cent while vacancies overall increased by 18.1 per cent.
Skilled job vacancies in the year to February:
* Auckland up 17.1 per cent
* Wellington up 15.0
* Canterbury up 7.9 per cent
* North Island (excluding Auckland and Wellington) up 15.5 per cent
* South Island (excluding Canterbury) up 25.3 per cent
Source: MBIE Jobs Online report