The number of jobs being advertised has risen almost 50 per cent but there are more people job-hunting and listings still aren't where they were pre-lockdown.
But some of the industries hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis are showing signs of bouncing back and are hiring.
The latest BNZ-Seek New Zealand employment report showed the number of job ads rose 46.9 per cent last month, after a 71.7 per cent boost in May.
Job listings across all industries increased but the report said listings were still down 38.9 per cent on the same month last year.
But despite the growth in job losses, some business sectors in Tauranga and Western Bay hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis have been advertising to hire staff again.
The large sector contributors to the trend were administration and office support, retail and product services, trades and services, and manufacturing, transport and logistics.
As of July 17, there were 780 jobs in the Bay of Plenty advertised on Seek, including 492 in the Tauranga area, of which 29 were hospitality and tourism positions.
There were also 94 jobs in trades and services, 58 in the healthcare and medical sector, 51 manufacturing, transport and logistics sector positions and 32 construction jobs.
BNZ senior economist Doug Steel said although the job figures were positive and the labour market was "recovering", it was far from being back to normal.
He said the true test would come when the Government's support schemes for businesses and employees ended on September 1.
The Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Gisborne are among the five regions with more job listings than other parts of the country.
Yet the latest Ministry of Social Development data shows jobseeker support numbers in the Bay of Plenty have risen to 18,963, up 3516 or 22.7 per cent since March 27.
The percentage of the estimated working age population (18 to 64 years) on Jobseeker Support in the region is 8 per cent, up 1.5 per cent from the start of the year.
The Bay of Plenty is New Zealand's second highest region in terms of Jobseeker Support clients behind the Auckland Metro region with 62,498 recipients.
Nationwide, the number of people receiving Jobseeker Support has risen 40,308 or 26.5 per cent from 151,745 when the Covid-19 lockdown began to 192,053 on July 10.
Alan Sciascia, the Bay of Plenty regional manager for Hospitality New Zealand, said the number of job advertisements did not necessarily mean businesses were busier.
"It simply reflects the needs of a business to employ staff at that time," he said.
"Businesses need experienced and qualified staff in order to operate efficiently and in recent years that need has been filled with a mix of New Zealanders and foreigners, the latter often here on a short-term work visa."
Sciascia said Covid-19 meant many of those who were here on work visas had returned home and not been replaced by new travellers.
Consequently, there was a shortage of experienced and qualified staff, he said.
"While there has been a jump in New Zealanders applying for employment assistance it appears that many of them have no experience or interest in working in the hospitality sector."
Phill Van Syp, the director of 1st Call Recruitment firm, said a number of businesses were hiring more staff and a proportion of that could be due to catching up on projects.
But he said there were some businesses which were "extremely busy" and were taking the opportunity to try and nab the best talent from the unemployment pool but others who had slowed down and stopped hiring.
He said it was good news to see job vacancies in the hospitality and tourism industry and hopefully that meant the sector was starting to bounce back somewhat.
"Tauranga is a little bit stagnate in terms of overall job vacancies compared to pre-lockdown, but there are a lot of companies looking themselves as well as using recruitment firms to help them find the best talent.
"But nationally we're extremely busy, and in fact, I would say we're 30 to 40 per cent busier than we were at the same time last year."
Van Syp said there was still a relatively positive jobs market but some Tauranga businesses appeared to be taking the cautious "wait and see" approach.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said he would not read too much into the rise in job listings as they were coming from a low base after the lockdown.
"Generally speaking, many businesses have been pleasantly surprised by their sales post lockdown. They are clearly benefiting from the suppressed consumer spending during lockdown and people unable to travel overseas for the near future."
Tourism Bay of Plenty head Kristin Dunne said the Coastal Bay of Plenty was still a favourite Kiwi holiday spot according to credit card spend data from Marketview.
"We are delighted to see New Zealanders continuing to choose the Coastal Bay of Plenty as their preferred holiday destination.
"We know that some Coastal Bay of Plenty accommodation providers and [tourism] activities are welcoming many Kiwis through their doors.
"But we also know that some tourism businesses are doing it tough, particularly those that focus on international visitors and events such as conferences."
Clarence Bistro & Hotel owner Noel Cimadom is one of Tauranga hospitality businesses hunting for more staff for the company's shortly to be opened Italian-themed bar.
"We are set to open our new and exciting Bar Centrale, which is an Italian Aperitivo Bar, serving incredible drinks and the best pizza and tapas-style Italian food," he said.
Cimadom said alterations were due to start this week at the Willow St venue.
"We had planned to start the alterations in April but the lockdown meant our plans had to be put on hold but now it's full steam ahead, which is fantastic."
Cimadom, who is also co-director of the Clarence Hospitality Group, said the 80-seat Bar Centrale would occupy half of the Willow St venue.
Currently employing 33 staff, he is looking for another nine staff to join the team - including an experienced full-time Maitre D', plus a barista, a bartender and wait staff.
Cimadom said the bistro would continue operating during renovations.
"It's a massive redesign and we can't wait to show off our new bar to the rest of Tauranga.
"This very exciting for us and we hope Bar Centrale will be just as exciting for the Tauranga community. We look forward to welcoming diners in early September."
Clarence Hospitality Group also owns the Alpino restaurant/bar in Mount Maunganui and in Cambridge and is also looking for three or four staff to join the Mount bar team.