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Christchurch quake rebuild boosts adverts for skilled job vacancies

Posted on January 29, 2015
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The number of skilled vacancies advertised online in New Zealand rose 1.1 per cent last month to its highest level in nearly six years as the Canterbury rebuild increased demand for skilled construction workers and engineers, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The skilled vacancies index increased to a seasonally adjusted 121.5, the highest level it’s been since April 2008, the ministry’s Jobs Online report shows.

On an annual basis, skilled vacancies climbed 7.4 per cent in the year to December, with eight out of 10 regions across the country posting an increase.

Business confidence is at historically high levels as a reluctance by firms to push up prices puts pressure on expected profitability, according to a survey by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research. Respondents said they expected to hire more staff in the coming quarter, but NZIER found much of the labour market was concentrated in a few regions and industries.

Canterbury-based skilled vacancies rose 0.3 per cent in the month and 8.3 per cent on an annual basis. The region has the highest measure of skilled vacancies fuelled in part by demand for construction and engineering workers as the rebuild picks up after earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

Over the year, Canterbury-based vacancies for construction and engineering rose 16.8 per cent, and since the September 2010 earthquake has soared 375 per cent.

Skilled vacancies for sales, marketing and advertising led the Canterbury gain, up 20.3 per cent, as the region looks for workers to replace those who moved out of the city after the earthquakes.

Outside the Canterbury region, skilled vacancies in Auckland, the country’s most populous city, edged up 0.8 per cent in December, for a yearly gain of 20.3 per cent. Bay of Plenty increased 2.3 per cent in December, while the region posted the biggest annual gain, up 20.6 per cent. Wellington posted an annual decline of 4.3 per cent, with no comparable monthly figures.

Skilled vacancies rose in most industry groups with education and training reporting the biggest increase at 2.6 per cent in the month, for an annual gain of 12.4 per cent.

The need for skilled workers increased across all occupation groups, which is divided between technician and trade workers, professionals and managers.

Technicians and trades worker vacancies were up 2.4 per cent in December for an annual gain of 3.5 per cent.

Professionals increased 0.9 per cent in the month for a 6.4 per cent increase in the year, while vacancies for managers increased 0.9 per cent in December, rising 8 per cent in the year.

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