Wellington has closed the gap to Auckland in the race to be the highest earning area in the country, according to an analysis by Trade Me Jobs.

Latest Trade Me Jobs figures show there is just a $2 difference in average wage between the two areas, with Auckland narrowly leading the way on $71,560, followed by Wellington on $71,558.

Average salaries in Wellington were up a solid 7 per cent from this time last year, while Auckland's wage growth was stagnant, rising just 0.2 per cent.

Jeremy Wade, head of Trade Me jobs, said lower living costs and employers putting more money on the table meant the grass could be greener for employees in the capital.


"After dominating 2017, the capital has been chasing Auckland for the highest earning area this year and there's now just a paltry $2 difference. With lower living costs and employers putting more money on the table, the grass could be greener for employees in the capital," Wade said.

Nationally the average wage remained relatively flat year-on-year, increasing just 0.7 per cent to $60,970.

Kawerau, Grey and Central Hawke's Bay rounded out the five highest earning areas with average wages of $68,538, $63,381 and $60,769 respectively.

Mackenzie had the lowest paid employers with an average wage of $46,786.

While year-on-year job growth was flat nationally (up 0.1 per cent), most of the South Island experienced a boost in job listings, with the West Coast leading the way (up 19.8 per cent), followed by Nelson (up 18.8 per cent) and Southland (up 18.4 per cent).

Auckland, Marlborough and Canterbury were the only regions to experience a year-on-year drop in job listings, down 6.1 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.

"After such stellar growth in 2017 it's no surprise things have eased a year later. Traditionally the regions immediately surrounding Auckland continue the trend a few months later so there are some concerns Auckland's job market slowdown could ripple out into these 'halo' regions in the next quarter.

"However, if Government decisions around key infrastructure projects provide some market certainty, we should see it bounce back pretty quickly.


"In the next six months we should see things start to look up for the market once again," Wade said.

IT was the highest earning industry in the country, with roles in this area filing the top five paid positions in the second quarter.

The highest paid position was for IT architects, earning an average salary of $156,402.

"If you're looking for a high-paying job, the IT sector still offers the highest average salary at $112,811 followed by roles in the property sector at $84,657 and the architecture sector at $83,218," Wade said.

The figures were analysised from over 72,000 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs.

Wade said for those looking to change jobs, the time to make a move is sooner rather than later.


"It's a job hunter's market with the average number of job applications down 6.3 per cent across the country," Wade said

"With employer confidence at a five-year low and job growth flattening, the job market is evening out and it looks like a good time to dust off that CV if you want to make a move."