Job vacancies in Rotorua are up amid renewed signs of an economic resurgence across the country.
Employment website Seek recorded a 9 per cent increase in Bay of Plenty job listings last month to 603, up from 554 in February 2013.
The number of people applying for jobs also rose, up 16 per cent, as local job seekers grew more confident.
The figures follow Statistics NZ data last month that showed unemployment had risen across the Bay to 9.3 per cent in the three months to December compared to 6.9 per cent the previous quarter, and the number of people with jobs fell to 115,800.
However Statistics New Zealand cautioned the Bay's unemployment rate fluctuated each quarter because the area traditionally offered a lot of seasonal work. Personnel Resources Rotorua team leader Angelique Tizard said more positions had been available in February compared with a year ago, but there were still more job seekers than positions.
Job seekers were becoming more confident to switch roles, she said. "Sometimes 200 people apply for the same job so you've got quite a lot of competition. Unfortunately you can't help everybody that comes in because there's just not enough jobs."
Serious candidates were applying for local jobs from "all around the world".
Rotorua's Talent ID recruitment and human resource specialist Mandy Pol said there was an increase in job vacancies last year although numbers were still down on previous years. "It seems to be right across the board. We've noticed there's been an increase in part-time work which is quite an anomaly and, purely speculating, it could be that as the economy has picked up or work load has increased, there is a need for extra staff but not enough to justify a full-time position," Mrs Pol said.
"We've heard that people are feeling good about the economy and maybe businesses are trying to be proactive and are responding to the marketplace.
"There are a lot of skilled people on our books and in Rotorua but it is still difficult to find people with the right skill sets so it seems like it's a marriage of the right people, the right place at the time."
Seek New Zealand general manager Janet Faulding said the February numbers were evidence of a robust job market, both in the main centres and the regions.
"It's encouraging to see the regions benefiting from increased activity in the employment market and this confirms there are opportunities outside of the main cities in New Zealand," Ms Faulding said.