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Posted on 15th July 2022

The Jobs Report

Here Is The Jobs Report Scanning The Market Across New Zealand for Q2, 2022.

Produced by the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA)being the peak body representing the recruitment industry.

The June Quarter in New Zealand reflects a wearying employment market. Job postings fell 8.8% from the previous quarter. Both permanent and flexible opportunities were down, with flexible postings dropping a bit further than permanent at 10.5%. It is important to note however, that declines are coming off record high demand, and that job postings for this quarter are still 12.8% higher than at the same time last year and, even more remarkably, 24.8% higher than they were two years ago. This demonstrates that there is still extremely strong demand for talent by comparison with previous years and with pre-COVID-19 times.

Once again, demand is being driven by public sector employment, with job postings in that sector rising 6%. This may be reflective of the fact that public sector employment is primarily driven by budgetary factors, as opposed to business conditions and the economy. Recruiters and employers who supply workforce into many different sectors are telling us that a wave of caution has washed over the market, as both workers and employers respond to recent economic changes in inflation, the cost of living and interest rates.

Workers, particularly those in the junior to mid-level roles, are not moving around as much as they were at the start of year, with many choosing to remain in their current job while they wait-out whatever economic storm is yet to come. On the business side, many organisations, especially smaller ones, are pulling out of the wage race, no longer able to compete with bigger businesses for the salaries being offered for some roles. They are also beginning to question the sustainability of some of these salaries in the face of impending economic downturn. This concern is likely to have contributed to the fall in job postings over the last three months.

While employers across most industries and occupations agree that finding staff remains a critical problem for their business, their experience in posting job advertisements that are left unanswered may also be dissuading them from advertising vacant roles. Their need for workers may be pressing, but the time and cost associated with actively working to recruit from, in practical terms, a fully employed workforce, is seeing scant return in the current market. Perhaps most surprisingly, the healthcare sector seems to have fallen victim to this mentality. We know from our members that demand for nurses and doctors all around the country is at peak levels as the pandemic continues to bite, and yet job postings for that sector dropped significantly in the last quarter. A creeping perception around the futility of advertising roles is likely to have contributed to the June Quarter’s “shrinking” job postings.

The new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), commencing in July, includes a requirement for employers to advertise jobs domestically before engaging a migrant worker to fill a role. It will be interesting to see if job postings gain some momentum in the September Quarter as a result. While we don’t expect many of the roles advertised under this requirement to be filled by New Zealand citizens or residents, the change has the potential to shift the number of jobs being advertised and will hopefully give us a clearer indication of underlying unmet demand in the current labour market.