Good news on the horizon?


Senga Allen

In the world of recruitment, it often feels like a rollercoaster ride, swinging between feast and famine. There are times when there are too many job openings and not enough qualified candidates, while at other times, there’s an oversupply of job seekers and too few opportunities.

The disruptive impact of Covid-19 wreaked havoc on New Zealand’s job market.

Lately, talk of a looming recession and an economic downturn has prompted businesses to scrutinise their staffing levels and financial stability. More talent is entering the job market, but are there sufficient job opportunities to match?

Is there a glimmer of hope on the horizon? According to The Jobs Report (thejobsreport.co.nz), signs of change are beginning to emerge. This quarterly report analyses job demand and opportunities in Australia and New Zealand, providing a detailed breakdown by industry, occupation, and region. The September quarter has brought some stabilisation to the New Zealand employment market.

The New Zealand Job Index surged by a promising 3.7 per cent in the quarter, marking a welcome return to positive growth after three consecutive quarters of contraction. However, the number of job postings remains 21.8 per cent lower than in September of the previous year and significantly down from the post-Covid peak observed in the last quarter of 2021. In the same period, the Flexible Jobs Index dropped by 6.3 per cent, while the Permanent Jobs Index increased by 5.7 per cent. It’s evident that employers are keen to secure scarce talent.

Certain industries have witnessed substantial growth, notably accommodation and food services, possibly influenced by the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Public Sector remains relatively stable, with a modest decline of just 2.7 per cent. However, there’s cause for concern in the financial and insurance services sector, which has experienced a fourth consecutive quarterly contraction, totalling a 37 per cent annual decline.

Interestingly, despite the overall “softness” in employment markets, the demand for executives and managers remains largely unscathed, surging by an impressive 20.3 per cent in the last quarter.

Technology professionals have weathered a relatively minor 2.6 per cent decline in demand for their services, a significant improvement compared to the 28.5 per cent plunge in the preceding June quarter. Remuneration is also showing signs of returning to more “normal” market levels.

A particularly heartening development is the 11.5 per cent rise in trade and technician roles, following a prolonged decline over the previous three quarters.

Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed for a continuation of this positive trend for 2024.




About Author

Senga Allen

Human Resource Specialist and Managing Director, Everest People. Waikato and BOP people and culture specialists. www.everestpeople.co.nz