The Covid-19 pandemic may have helped create a "phenomenal" increase in job listings, but Northland companies are struggling to find suitable candidates to fill them.
Northland recruitment agencies and companies are crying out for qualified and experienced candidates to fill roles in the trades, accounting, and administration due in part to a lack of migrant workers.
Trade Me said the national job market had a cracking start to the year, with the number of jobs listed onsite increasing by 22 per cent in the first quarter of January to March compared with the same period in 2020.
In Northland, there was a 34 per cent in job listings over the same timeframe.
Whangārei-based Direction Recruitment director Paula Kalkhoven said her recruitment agency has had a big increase in job listings this year.
There are lots of administration and accounting roles available in Whangārei and the Far North, along with the trades such as mechanics, electricians and plumbers.
However, there are not enough experienced candidates to fill them, she said.
Usually, the jobs would be filled by well-qualified migrants, "and they're not around at the moment because the borders are closed".
"We're getting a lot of job listings, but we're not seeing the candidates," Kalkhoven said.
"If we don't have people to fill them, then the companies are struggling, they're under pressure to get jobs completed. You can't just put anyone on diggers and excavators, they need experienced people.
"The companies are crying out. They're paying good hourly rates as well."
The latest Trade Me Jobs report analysed more than 71,400 vacancies and found every region in the country saw a year-on-year increase in job listings.
The largest increases were in the automotive, construction and roading, and manufacturing and operations sectors.
Trade Me Jobs spokesperson Matt Tolich said though the start of the year is typically busy for the job market, this quarter's increase in listings was "phenomenal".
"We put much of this down to the lack of migrant workers creating a skills shortage market," he said.
"We're also seeing Kiwis increase their discretionary spending on things like house renovations and car upgrades from their redirected overseas holiday funds."
Tolich said the job market is in extremely good health.
The increase in listings was particularly impressive considering economic predictions due to Covid-19 from this time last year, he said.
"One year ago, the outlook for the job market was pretty dire, to say the least, so it's remarkable to see such a strong start to the year and evidence of more good news for job seekers and employers to come."
Yorke Stone & Associates, an accountancy firm in Whangarei, have struggled to find a chartered accountant since they began advertising in January.
Business manager Nancy Kareroa-Yorke said though three candidates have applied, none have the experience required.
"We've had to change our approach a couple of times," she said.
"We looked at recruiting in Whangārei and Northland, and now we're looking further afield to Auckland and the rest of New Zealand.
"We're selling Whangārei as a good destination to live and work in."
Kareroa-Yorke said usually, the job would have been filled a lot quicker.
"Sometimes we even got approached before recruiting but now it's taken a while to get the momentum going.
"There are jobs available but the demand is high for accountancy and there is not enough supply."