Job seekers are fighting for more pay and extra benefits including half-day Fridays before signing on to new positions as the Bay's jobs boom continues.

In December the Bay of Plenty Times reported that the region had been named a hotspot for jobs, with figures revealing the region had double the number of new positions compared with the national average.

New data from SEEK cemented that trend, revealing there has been a 15 per cent increase in the amount of jobs advertised in the Bay in January alone - the strongest start for volumes of advertisements for new positions in three years.

Nationally, there were almost 24,000 jobs advertised in New Zealand, compared to 21,000 the previous year and just 19,000 in January 2012.


"The job market is benefiting from the continued improvement in the wider New Zealand economy and we see this as a strong indication of what is to come for the remainder of 2014," Janet Faulding, General Manager of SEEK New Zealand said.

The latest Census figures revealed the median income in Tauranga is now $53,400, up $7600 from the 2006 census with men now earning $68,000 a year and woman $44,800.

But it may not be enough as companies start to compete for the best people.

Jill Swan, the director of Tauranga recruitment agency The Staffroom told the Bay of Plenty Times candidates were becoming more particular about what they want from their employers as the number of positions increased.

"This is noticeable throughout the negotiation process with a demand for more pay," she said.

"Job candidates are also asking for more benefits from their would-be bosses. They want more flexibility with their hours and they ask for half days off on Fridays, that sort of thing.

"Candidates know that clients know there is stiff competition out there now.

"It can be frustrating for employers but it is nice for candidates to have something up their sleeve after a few tough years."

The Gym co-owner Lisa Chan said corporate membership to a gym was a popular perk Bay businesses gave employees.

Incentives like education, extra days off and promotions to work towards also helped to attract and retain staff, she said.

"It is all about tailoring the incentives to individuals."

Good staff were being head hunted again after the recession, according to the owner of The Right Staff, Claudia Nelson, who said a number of companies in the Bay were reviewing their pay levels in a bid to retain their top workers.

"Those that do not review their pay levels risk losing good people in the current climate. There is a surplus of good jobs again, in almost every industry."

Ms Nelson said she had also noticed positions paying upwards of $100,000 returning to the Bay.

"During the recession our region lost those high paying positions, now businesses are hiring top people again, they anticipate growth and support growth and they have the confidence they can achieve in this climate. it is very positive."

The SEEK data showed the industries driving job growth in the Bay were in trades and services which advertised 94 new positions and healthcare and medical (up 104 per cent) with 76 new advertised roles. Manufacturing, transport & logistics posted 61 new jobs, a 53 per cent increase.

Tradestaff Bay of Plenty area manager Geoff Campbell said construction continued to boost the local jobs market.

Tauranga mayor Stuart Crosby told the Bay of Plenty Times enrolments at tertiary institutes were on the up, which meant more skilled workers.