The number of jobs available in IT and banking and financial services in the Bay of Plenty has more than doubled since last year according to Trade Me, reflecting growth throughout the region.

These sectors came out in the top five in Seek and Trade Me Jobs data this week when the first half of 2015 was compared with the first half of 2014.

Job adverts listed on Seek for IT positions increased by 161.8 per cent from the first six months of 2014 to the first six months of 2015, while on Trade Me they increased by 77 per cent.

Banking and financial service positions (grouped with insurance) saw a 45.1 per cent on Seek and a 126 per cent increase on Trade Me.

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In addition, accounting jobs jumped 69.6 per cent on Seek and 54 per cent on Trade Me.

Construction (grouped with architecture) jumped 46.1 per cent on Seek and 50 per cent on Trade Me.

Major job growth in professional services and IT in the Bay of Plenty has given the local economy depth and sustainability against global influences, Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said. The local economy would be at less risk if there was another global financial crisis thanks to more jobs in "high value" sectors.

Ms Hill said the sectors experiencing the most growth were all interlinked - and were a reflection of the region's "fastest growing economy".

The professional services - such as IT, accounting, banking and finance - were supporting business growth across the board so growth in those areas only signalled growth across all areas, she said.

"Everything is quite positive at the moment and we're increasingly being seen to be a viable place for businesses."

More businesses meant more jobs, meaning more employment opportunities and a sustainable economy in terms of outside influences, she said.

Peter Osborne, of Trade Me Jobs, said the Auckland market had just "become so big" that businesses were deciding to expand in other regions instead of competing in Auckland for expensive real estate and staff.

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People in IT, accounting, business and finance were needed to establish and grow those businesses, he said.

"When you've got growth in those areas combined it shows the local economy is growing.

"They're definitely very strong indicators of that."

Tauranga Tech founder and tech blogger Ben Rickard said Tauranga was a great place to set up an IT company.

He said the internet allowed most IT businesses to be based anywhere but New Zealand had the advantage of working while the rest of the world was sleeping, Tauranga offered a desirable lifestyle and was close enough to Auckland. "I think Auckland has got worse over the past decade so that's just pushed people out to other places."

He thought, based on the national growth in the IT sector, that the job advert increase probably reflected that growth, not just turnover of staff.

The "Auckland effect" had also showed itself at KPMG Tauranga, where partner Tracey Preston-Lett had noticed more out-of-town interest in jobs recently.

The company had expanded by about 15 staff in the past three years and Ms Preston-Lett said their clients were also expanding, adding in-house roles such as accountants and IT professionals that they might have had to cull during the global financial crisis.

"They had downsized but now they're having to reinvest in those roles.

"It's particularly busy in construction ... that's where they downscaled resources and are now in growth mode.

"It's a really positive working environment and we're certainly happy and that's driven by the underlying growth in the local economy."

With all the increases in job adverts, a local recruitment agency says they are still being filled.

A recent entry level job in IT had more than 175 applicants when it was advertised online - which was normal for that level, Recruitment consultant at The Staffroom Jo Oxenham said.

Interest came from locals, out-of-towners, as well as international candidates.

"We're getting a lot from that Auckland region."

The same amount of interest, if not more, was coming in for administration roles while a good number, but not a huge number of people were applying for accounting roles.

Jump in jobs offering $100k-plus

Six-figure incomes appear to be on the rise as employers increase salaries to help lure skilled staff from out of town, say recruitment agencies.

Drake NZ Tauranga branch senior consultant Rachel Davis says there has been a rise in six-figure job offerings. Photo / John Borren
Drake NZ Tauranga branch senior consultant Rachel Davis says there has been a rise in six-figure job offerings. Photo / John Borren

Latest figures from Trade Me Jobs showed 28 job listings with salaries of $100,000 or more in Tauranga and the Western Bay, and 38 listings advertised on Seek in the same salary range.

That included recent listings for two qualified drainlayers required to manage a drainage crew.

Other recent listings included qualified carpenters, electricians, a skilled concreter, mobile plant operator, senior infrastructure project manager and a senior geotechnical engineer.

For the six months ended June 30, 2015 there were 3974 listings, of which 143 or 3.6 per cent were in the $100k-plus range, compared to 2.2 per cent for the previous six months - a jump of 116 per cent.

Seek figures show its listings for jobs $100,000 and over was up 11.5 per cent in 2014, compared to the year before.

Drake New Zealand branch senior consultant Rachel Davis said they had definitely noticed an increase in employers offering higher salaries.

Mrs Davis said there was a growing number of people moving to Tauranga from Auckland with higher skills and experience, and employers were attempting to catch them with more competitive pay rates.

It was no longer enough just to say this is the pay rate people can expect in Tauranga, she said.

"That has always been a huge frustration for us and for our clients, particularly when people are effectively doing the same job in larger main centres such as Auckland, but it is not reflected in the salary package offered."

1st Call Recruitment managing director Phill van Syp said the job market was "very tight" as the unemployment rate had come down, and companies were competing for qualified and talented staff, with higher salary offerings.

Personnel Resources managing director Ian Chitty said there had definitely been some movement in salary packages after the recent changes in the economy, particularly within the dairy industry.

Mr Chitty said employers were definitely more willing to pay higher salaries to attract the right people, particularly chartered accountants, engineers, those working in specialist medical fields, plus top sales management positions.

Tauranga-based Residential Building Services recently advertised an architectural quality assurance draughting position on Seek, offering a six-figure pay package. Company owner Richard Carver said in his experience there was a significant gap of 20 to 30 per cent between the cost of living in Auckland versus Tauranga, and this was reflected in the salaries being paid here compared to the Auckland market.

"I am not sure that salaries will rise as more people move to the Bay of Plenty relative to Auckland growth.

"They will rise based on the ability of employers to run profitable businesses in Tauranga.

"In my experience, Tauranga is still seen as a desirable retirement destination and a lot of people move to Tauranga as a lifestyle family choice, not for remuneration reasons," he said.

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