A report on the number of new jobs advertised online reflects the significant impact of COVID-19 on business intentions to employ new staff.
According to SEEK's employment trends report for the March quarter, the number of online jobs listings dropped 11 percent year-on-year. The drops were most severe in the weeks ending March 29 and April 5, which each had 75.7 percent fewer jobs listed year-on-year.
SEEK New Zealand General Manager, Janet Faulding said that COVID-19's impact on intentions to hire new staff was "swift and extreme".
"Over 85 percent of job sectors on SEEK.co.nz have seen a drastic drop in listings advertised," Faulding said.
However, in the same quarter, four sectors saw an increase in the number of listings. These were community services and development (up 16 percent), government and defence (up 8.4 percent), farming animals and conservation (up 3.2 percent) and banking and finance (up 1.6 percent).
"Community services and development continue to show a strong demand for workers, as [does] the agricultural sector," Faulding said.
The Gisborne, Manawatu and Tasman regions had an increase in job listings in the March quarter, up 3.5 percent, 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent year-on-year.
"New Zealand boasts an impressive primary sector that continues to function even during the lockdown.
"While the drop has been dramatic and the impact on the employment market significant, there is still some demand for workers," Faulding added.
The sectors with the biggest drops in listings were engineering (down 24 percent), science and technology (down 22.8 percent), sales (down 21.9 percent), call centre & customer services (down 19.4 percent) and construction (down 18.8 percent).
The areas with the biggest drops in listings were the West Coast (down 20.3 percent), Canterbury (down 18.7 percent), Otago (down 15.2 percent), Bay of Plenty and Marlborough (down 12.6 percent) and Auckland (down 11.8 percent).
The average advertised salary nationwide was $82,576, up 3.4 percent year-on-year.