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Boost in applications as Kiwi look for roles in the new year

Job market update.

16 February 2024

The Aotearoa job market has seen an increase of Kiwi applying for jobs on site according to the latest data from Trade Me Jobs.

Trade Me Jobs spokesperson Patrick Cairns said the site has seen an increase in both roles advertised and in applications in January 2024.

"In January, we saw a 54 percent increase in total applications compared to December, which is a massive jump after the Christmas period. This goes to show that as Kiwi return from the holiday break, they are looking for a new role to kick off the new year.”

"We also saw an increase in the number of jobs advertised listings month to month, however salaries have dipped slightly which could be due to the increase in migration levels. This year we may see the job market start to lean towards employers, with more people in the country trying to find work. That means those looking for a new role will need to make sure their job profile and CV stands out," he said.

Hawkes Bay overtakes Auckland with highest salary

In January, there was an overall drop of 3.6 per cent in the average annual salary nationwide compared to December 2023. Most regions saw a decline in salary with Northland (1.1%) and Taranaki (2%) the only areas to report an increase. Some smaller regions have surprisingly surpassed their larger counterparts.

Central Hawke's Bay has taken the lead in average salary, overtaking Auckland, with an average of $78,100. Tamaki Makaurau follows closely at $77,769, and Wellington holds the third spot at $75,650.

"The top jobs in the Central Hawkes Bay are centred around construction and roading which pay over $150,000. While this signals that Hawke's Bay can compete with larger regions in terms of average salary, it's important to note that there are fewer job opportunities compared to Auckland. The diversity of available jobs in Auckland contributes to bringing down the average," said Cairns.

Top paying roles

When analysing the jobs offering the highest salaries, Cairns says there’s a mix of both professionals and hands on jobs. Construction and roading (projects and contracts management) takes the lead with an average salary of $122,342, followed by Engineering (Civil and structural) at $107,885, and Accounting (accountants) at $93,904.

"This data is similar to the trend we saw in 2023, indicating that many of the most well-paid roles revolve around the construction sector. Kiwi employed as architects, consultants, or project managers show as having the highest salaries."

Patrick Cairns said there were minimal salary increases across the sectors in January compared to December, with banking finance and insurance one of the only industries which saw a substantial increase with an increase of 11.8 per cent.

Most applied for roles

Throughout January, industries experiencing heightened demand during the summer period, such as Hospitality/Tourism, retail, and transport witnessed a surge in job applications, highlighting keen interest in these sectors.

With more people applying for jobs, it's a good time for employers to think about hiring new staff, Cairns said.

“We know businesses will carefully think about what jobs they need this year. We'll keep watching the trends and continue to share insights about what employers and employees can expect in the coming year,” he added.