As business confidence in Rotorua continues to grow, so do the businesses themselves, opening the city up to more employment opportunities across the board.

It is this economic growth that is being attributed to the Bay of Plenty's rise in job vacancies - the largest rise nationwide for the last 12 months, ending in May.

The figures have been revealed in a new report released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The report measures changes in job vacancies advertised by businesses on three job sites - Seek, Trade Me Jobs and the Education Gazette.


The Bay of Plenty figures, which could not be broken down into Rotorua-specific figures, show a 44.6 per cent change in job vacancies in the past 12 months.

The region also had the highest increase in the monthly change from April to May with 3 per cent. The second highest increase was in Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and West Coast with 1.9 per cent.

MBIE's labour market trends manager David Paterson said the increase in the Bay had been "particularly sharp".

"[It's] a trend that reflects the expanding economy and growing employment in the region."

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh said there was clear evidence of business confidence in the city.

"Eighteen months ago I would have said Bay of Plenty figures were more reflective of Tauranga's growth but in the last 12 months Rotorua has experienced phenomenal growth, and we are still in the early stages, whereas Tauranga has slowed down.

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"We know our businesses are growing and business confidence is high, with that comes more jobs being created.

"We are seeing a good mix of skill-based and entry-level jobs being advertised, with most of the latter positions relatively simple to fill with locals. I'd say some of the skill-based jobs with specific requirements are taking a little while longer to fill with employers needing to cast their net outside the area."

Nationally the hospitality and tourism industry experienced a strong rise in vacancy numbers in May, increasing 1.9 per cent.

Restaurant Association of NZ Rotorua branch president Sharon Wallace said Rotorua was experiencing the same increase of vacancies in the hospitality and tourism industry.

"Restaurants, cafes and tourism outlets are doing extremely well. Hospitality is a profession that a lot of people have done and securing a job in the sector all comes down to attitude - having experience and being qualified is great but attitude and willingness to learn are key.

"It's a win-win situation for business owners and workers."

Ministry of Social Development Bay of Plenty regional commissioner Mike Bryant said it was good to see growth in the job market.

"With an average of 900 people moving off benefit into work each month in the Bay of Plenty, it's always pleasing to see positive signs of growth in the Bay of Plenty job market - especially when it provides opportunities for our jobseekers to move into sustainable employment," he said.

"In Rotorua we're currently seeing vacancies in retail, hospitality, commercial cleaning and specialist positions, mainly in healthcare."

He said there was also a demand for specialists in the primary industries such as agriculture, forestry, IT and freight and logistics.

"We're keen to work with others to make an even greater difference to these numbers."