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State of the nation: SEEK reports extreme impact on job market by COVID-19

Fri, 17th Apr 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Advertisements for new jobs have fallen drastically since the COVID-19 outbreak took hold, according to the latest employment snapshot from SEEK New Zealand.

The latest report saw SEEK job ad listings drop down -11.0% nationally compared to Q1 2019. Only four industries demonstrated job ad growth, being; Community Services - Development (16.0%), Government - Defence (8.4%), Farming, Animals - Conservation (3.2%) and Banking - Financial Services (1.6%).

Industries showing the greatest decline in job ads were Engineering (-24%), Science and technology (-22.8%), Sales (-21.9%), Call Centre - Customer Services (-19.4%) and Construction (-18.8%).

The average advertised salary in New Zealand is $82,576, up by 3.4%

The report showed three regions saw job ad growth; Gisborne, Manawatu and Tasman, up 3.5%, 0.8% and 0.4% year on year to Q1 2020.

The rest of the country experienced a decline. Those areas hardest hit were: West Coast (-20.3%), Canterbury (-18.7%), Otago (-15.2%), Bay of Plenty and Marlborough (-12.6%) and Auckland (-11.8%).

“The impact of COVID-19 on the employment market has been swift and extreme with quarter one showing an -11% decline in job listings compared to the same time last year," says Janet Faulding, general manager of SEEK New Zealand.

"The drop in job advertising accelerated in March. Over 85% of job sectors on have seen a drastic drop in listings advertised," she says.

Faulding says while the drop has been dramatic and the impact on the employment market significant, there is still some demand for workers.

“Community Services and Development continue to show a strong demand for workers, as is the agricultural sector (Farming, Animals and Conservation). New Zealand boasts an impressive primary sector that continues to function even during the lockdown. This is likely to be linked to regions such as Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty seeing a rise in job listings during this time,” she says.

Since the beginning of March job ads started to decline and then fell drastically in mid-March, the job platform says. New national job ads posted have declined by;
    •    2.4% in week ended 8 March and,
    •    9.7% in week ended 15 March and,
    •    31.6% in week ended 22 March and,
    •    75.7% in week ended 29 March and, 
    •    75.7% last week, week ended 5 April. 

This data is new job ads posted during a particular week compared to the same week last year.

“As the impacts of COVID-19 have amplified since the start of March we are sharing new job ad data posted to compared to the same week in 2019," says

"Usually we look at this data over longer periods of time but you are able to see the impacts of COVID-19 hitting the employment market have been swift and extreme," she says.

Although the drop has been dramatic, there are still jobs available, Faulding notes.

Jobs in the ICT sector are still being advertised, the snapshot shows. Roles including engineering and software services, helpdesk and IT support, business systems analyst, developers/programmers and network systems and administration are amongst the advertisements currently on the job seeker platform.

Other job categories still advertising roles include community services, trades and services, healthcare and medical, as well as manufacturing transport and logistics.

These are the sectors and the types of roles being advertised on

    •    Engineering and software services
    •    Helpdesk and IT support
    •    Business systems analyst
    •    Developers/programmers
    •    Network systems and administration

Community services 
    •    Child, youth and family services
    •    Community development
    •    Aged and disability support
Trades and Services
    •    Automotive services
    •    Building trades
    •    Labourers
    •    Electricians
Healthcare and medical
    •    Nursing-Aged care
    •    Psychology and counselling services
    •    Pharmacy
    •    General nursing and medical
Manufacturing Transport and logistics
    •    Warehouse, storage and distribution
    •    Courier drivers
    •    Road transport 
    •    Machine operators
    •    Assembly and  process work
    •    Pickers and packers

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