Employers are finally starting to hire again - especially in Auckland - after a dramatic collapse in the job market late last year.

The Herald and the country's two biggest online job websites, Seek and Trade Me, all report increases of 5 to 17 per cent in jobs being advertised in the last few weeks.

All show that vacancies are still only about half of where they were a year ago. There are still more than nine unemployed people chasing every job advertised on the largest job site, Seek.

But the first glimmers of hope in the job market back up a Treasury report this week that the economy may have stopped shrinking and unemployment may now peak next year at 7.5 per cent of the workforce, compared with a Budget forecast of 8 per cent.

Seek NZ general manager Annemarie Duff said job listings plunged by 60 per cent from July last year to a low point in June, but she was just starting to see "a little bit more confidence" from employers.

"We have seen, over particularly the last three weeks, a definite increase in volumes of ads coming through. The September figures will show a 5 per cent increase," she said.

She said Auckland was the first to drop, but was now starting to recover. Just over half of the site's 14,152 jobs last month were in Auckland, although that figure may be distorted by some out-of-town employers listing their jobs in the region to attract Auckland applicants.

The site now lists 7117 jobs in Auckland compared with the region's 46,200 unemployed in the last household labour force survey, a ratio of 6.5 unemployed to every vacancy.

The ratio is 5.9 unemployed for every vacancy in Wellington, 11.7 in Christchurch and 18.9 in the rest of the country.

Trade Me commercial head Jimmy McGee said jobs live on his site fell from 10,700 in August last year to a low of 5600 in May, June and July, but recovered to 5800 in August and 6200 yesterday.

"We saw strength in health and education and also some of the areas buffeted by the recession, such as banking and finance coming off very deep lows," he said.

Herald advertising manager Greg Hornblow said Herald job ads also dropped by 60 per cent and were flat for the last few months, but have jumped by 17 per cent in the past three weeks.

"It's too early to say whether that is a long-term trend but it's certainly positive," he said.

Work and Income said it was receiving 900 to 1000 new vacancies a week, compared with 600 at this time last year and 800 a week four months ago. It lists 1376 jobs on its website this week, including 568 in Auckland - up from 368 in Auckland in June.

Recruitment company Manpower said a survey of 720 New Zealand employers found that 14 per cent planned to increase hiring in the next three months, up marginally from 12 per cent in their last survey three months ago.

Brendan Muller of Albany recruitment company Advanced Personnel said there had been an upturn in permanent jobs being offered in the past two months, especially in house building.

But Janice McNab of Tradestaff said most employers were still looking for temporary staff.

"I think we'd need to see a little bit more happening yet before we see any confidence returning."