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You're the boss: Market swings in employers' favour

The job market has shifted in favour of employers this month, according to Seek, with applications for advertised roles growing faster than new job ads.

The job market has shifted in favour of employers this month, according to Seek, with applications for advertised roles growing faster than new job ads.

The SEEK Employment Index (SEI), which measures the ratio of new job ads listed on seek.co.nz to applications received for those roles, declined 4.1 percent in July.

“In the current market, jobseekers need to put their best foot forward and separate themselves from the pack to stand out," said Seek NZ general manager Janet Faulding.

“The fall in the SEI indicates that the job market is becoming more competitive for candidates with applications for advertised roles in New Zealand growing at a faster rate than the number of roles available."

The fastest-growing areas are in healthcare sales, auditing, call centre management, manufacturing supervision, and – perhaps somewhat surprisingly – writing and journalism.

The most advertised-for roles are for IT programmers/systems analysts, accountants, administration assistants and sales reps.

A tale of two islands

The most recent Hays Quarterly Report paints a picture of varying demand when it comes to architecture, construction and engineering.

Jason Walker, managing director of Hays in New Zealand, said the North Island was in a bit of a holding pattern although demand was growing for construction project managers and supervisors.

By contrast, senior architects, quantity surveyors and structural engineers were being sought after in Christchurch. 

"Also, due to a rise in the number of projects, as well as new major contractors entering the market, Wellington now needs construction project managers, foremen/women and supervisors, with a high demand also for quantity surveyors for PQS firms and construction-based quantity surveyors. The preference is for local candidates with local knowledge and experience."

Pay scales on the up

Meanwhile, according to Statistics New Zealand's latest labour cost index released this month, private sector salary and wage rates increased 2.1 percent in the year to the June 2012 quarter. Public sector rates climbed 1.6 percent in the same period.

The mean increase for all surveyed salary and ordinary time wage rates that rose was 3.9 percent, the highest increase since a 3.9 percent jump in the year to the March 2010 quarter. Fifty-six percent of surveyed pay rates showed annual rises in the year to the June 2012 quarter.