It's good news for Hawke's Bay job hunters with new figures revealing a jump in the number of advertised listings.
But some job applicants are being branded unreliable, not turning up for work or failing drug tests.
Local job listings increased 23.5 per cent last quarter on the same period last year, according to Trade Me Jobs, although the website would not reveal actual numbers citing commercial sensitivity.
Leanne Welsh, owner of Napier-based recruitment firm BOSS Group, said: "It's like the tap's been turned on after Christmas" with job vacancies pouring in. The vacancies were across the board and included temporary and permanent trades roles, she said.
"What we are seeing this year is certainly stronger by comparison to any of the preceding four years."
There were plenty of applicants in Hawke's Bay, however their quality was variable, Ms Welsh said.
While there were some workers Ms Welsh would like to clone, others were unreliable, failed drugs tests due to a "lax attitude to recreational drugs" and failed to turn up for jobs.
"Fitters, welders, all the rest of that jazz are in high demand, [but] unfortunately there is still a large portion of the population that are unskilled, and [jobs for] unskilled work is getting far and few between," she said.
An analysis of more than 41,000 job ads listed in the first three months of 2013 shows the national employment market grew 5.3 per cent year-on-year. However, nationwide listings were down 3.2 per cent from the December quarter. Head of Trade Me Jobs Ginny Ryder said there were hints of a slow shift in favour of job hunters as job numbers rose, and demand for employment fell.
"That's good news for people hunting that dream job," Ms Ryder said. Job listings grew in all regions last quarter, aside from Wellington and the West Coast, with Auckland and Christchurch the employment power-houses, Ms Ryder said.
Auckland accounted for more than one-third of the country's jobs. However Wellington - buffeted by cuts to the public service - recorded a 13.9 per cent jump in applications but 7.2 per cent drop in listings year-on-year.
Canterbury job listings surged 16.5 per cent on the back of the rebuild. Vacancies also increased significantly in Otago, Gisborne and Nelson.
"Farmers are still hiring despite the dry weather, with advertised vacancies up 25 per cent on the same period last year," Ms Ryder said.
"Roles in civil and structural engineering also had a solid boost, with the number of available positions lifting 92 per cent on last year."
There was resurgent growth in the finance and insurance sectors and the construction sector was also booming.
"Roles for machine operators, supervisors and site managers are also growing strongly."
The New Zealand employment market was "at a crossroads".
Data from the SEEK New Job Ad Index, also released this week, found new job advertisements on the website were up 4.9 per cent nationally compared to March 2012. The figures follow a government announcement trumpeting a 29,000 fall in the number of Kiwis receiving benefits, the lowest number at this time of year since 2009.