Wairarapa job listings plunge 9.6pc

By Gerald Ford gerald.ford@age.co.nz -
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Online job listing figures for Wairarapa were 9.6 per cent lower than January to March last year. PHOTO/FILE
Online job listing figures for Wairarapa were 9.6 per cent lower than January to March last year. PHOTO/FILE

Wairarapa job listings are down 9.6 per cent and their advertised salaries down 8.4 per cent on employment website Trade Me Jobs this year -- bucking a nationwide listings increase.

Trade Me last week announced that nationwide, job listings were up 4.1 per cent for the three months to March 31, compared to the same period last year.

The figure for Wairarapa listings, however, was 9.6 per cent lower than January to March last year.

Nationwide, the average advertised salary dipped 1.9 per cent. Of the larger regions, the wider Wellington region was the biggest loser with a drop of 5.2 per cent year-on-year, down to $66,571.

In Wairarapa the drop was worse, down 8.4 per cent to $50,537 for jobs advertised on the site.

Demand for the available jobs also increased -- in Wairarapa the applications per listing were up 7.4 per cent and nationwide applications were up 8.7 per cent.

Head of Trade Me Jobs Peter Osborne said this meant there was increased competition for jobs and ongoing momentum in favour of employers.

"There are some great signs of growth in listings but the number of people applying tells the story that job hunters will be finding things more difficult," Mr Osborne said.

Nationwide the biggest increases in listings were for jobs in architecture (36.7 per cent), education (23.4 per cent), and construction and roading (17.5 per cent).

Property, trades and office and administration listings were all up between 15.1 per cent and 16.2 per cent, and HR and recruitment was up 13.6 per cent.

The largest drops in job offers were in IT (24.8 per cent), banking, finance and insurance (18.3 per cent), science and technology (13. per cent) and sales (10.1 per cent).

Mr Osborne said longer term "structural shifts" in the employment market were providing challenges for both employers and job hunters.

"The types of roles on offer aren't always a good match for the people available to fill them.

"If there aren't enough qualified or suitable candidates, the role goes unfilled or a hire is made and there's a higher chance of it being a poor fit, which often leads to dissatisfaction and under-performance."

He cited construction and sales as obvious examples.

"Demand for construction workers in Auckland has exceeded the number of qualified applicants, reminiscent of Christchurch over the past few years, meaning jobs are going unfilled.

"And on the other side of the coin there are more people looking for work in sales but a decline in jobs available, meaning it's been far more difficult for salespeople to land a job.

"The problem is people aren't always willing or able to pack up and head to Auckland for work, and they might not have the skills to be able to do the work."

Mr Osborne said that these shifts tended to wax and wane and that jobs on offer and worker skills were never perfectly matched. "Of course, while it's good to know these things change constantly, it doesn't help pay the bills if you're looking for work and having difficulty right now.

"The message for employers and job hunters is to keep an eye on trends in your industry, and plan ahead so a skill shortage doesn't bite you. That includes up-skilling on the job, training and development, and of course being willing to think laterally and applying skills to different types of jobs."

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