News Next article

Five year peak in applications as salaries reach a new high

Q3 job market update.

5 October 2023

Job applications surge on Trade Me as Kiwi seek more money and better job prospects, according to the latest data from Trade Me Jobs.

Trade Me Jobs Sales Director Matt Tolich says the job site had seen a significant jump in the number of Kiwi applying for roles recently. “In the past six months we have seen an 88 per cent spike in total job applications when compared with the same time last year - that’s more applications than we have seen since 2018 - proving that many Kiwi are on the job hunt. 

“With more money on offer across the motu, it’s no surprise that Kiwi are testing the market for better pay and a new role,” Mr Tolich said. This comes as the average salary in Aotearoa broke yet another record in the third quarter of 2023 (July-Sept), rising almost $5,500 on the same time last year to reach $71,820. 

“For the past 12 months we have seen the national average salary break record after record as employers are forced to put more money on the table to help Kiwi combat the rising cost of living.”

Salary growth surpasses inflation

“While salaries have been steadily rising for over a year, the national average salary increase has struggled to match inflation - until now. 

“In the third quarter of 2023, we saw an 8 per cent annual increase in average salary which is slightly higher than the latest inflation figures from Stats NZ at 6 per cent*. This will be music to the ears of many Kiwi.”

Every region hits record salary

Every single region reached a record average salary in the third quarter of 2023. The regions with the largest annual salary growth were Wellington ($76,041), Southland ($70,106), Otago ($70,977), Canterbury ($70,404) and Marlborough ($70,039), all seeing average pay rise between 9 and 10 per cent on the same time last year.

“It’s no longer only Auckland and Wellington to hold the title as the $70,000 regions. Several regions broke the $70,000 mark for the first time last quarter, including Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne, Marlborough, Otago, Southland and Taranaki,” Mr Tolich said.

Record salaries across fifteen industries

“From the 25 industries we monitor, 15 reached a record average salary record last quarter.”

Mr Tolich said the largest increases by sector were seen in Healthcare (up 10 per cent on last year to $70,649), Trades & Services (up 9 per cent to $71,283), Manufacturing & Operations (up 9 per cent to $62,859), Education (up 8 per cent to $69,487) and Hospitality & Tourism (up 8 per cent to $61,607). 

“These industries really are the backbone of Aotearoa - they’re our builders, teachers, chefs and factory workers - and it’s great to see these Kiwi being recognised for the contribution they make.”

Also joining the sectors to see a new record salary were; Accounting, Automotive, Construction & Roading, Customer Service, Engineering, HR & Recruitment, Marketing - Media & Communications, Office & Administration, Retail, Sales and Transport & Logistics.

The most applied for roles and biggest salary jumps

“With record salary increases and a spike in applications we had a look at the most applied for roles, and those with the largest annual salary bump, in September.”

Mr Tolich said the most applied for roles in September were dominated by hands-on workers with caregivers taking out the top spot, followed by drivers & couriers, farmers, storepersons and housekeepers. 

“Looking at roles that have seen the largest annual percentage increase in salary, it was a mixed bag of blue and white collar workers.”

Coming in at number five were those in telecommunications who saw a 17 per cent annual uplift in average wage to $85,728, followed by roofers who also saw a 17 per cent jump in salary to $81,516. In third place were psychologists and counsellors who saw an 18 per cent bump in average pay to $84,797, while the average salary for estimators in Construction & Roading jumped 19 per cent to $114,872. 

“Pharmacists took out the top spot seeing the largest average salary increase of any role, with a 20 per cent annual increase from $63,252 to $76,155.”

Election uncertainty sees fewer job listings

As we get closer to the general election, uncertainty is rippling through the jobs market with some employers putting their foot hard on the hiring brake. 

Mr Tolich said job listings were down 7.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2023 when compared with the previous quarter.  

“Our customers have told us that they’re waiting until they know who will be running the country for the next three years before they make that next hire. This behaviour isn’t surprising and, with our data going right back to 2009, is typical with almost every general election as businesses wait to see how the cards fall.”

Mr Tolich said with job listings down and applications up, it’s a great time to be hiring. 

“No matter what the outcome of the general election is, we expect job listings to bounce back in November and into the New Year."

Looking for staff?
Source, compare and shortlist in one place.
List now