New figures show a sharp increase in jobs being advertised since New Zealand came out of lockdown.
Jobs advertised on online employment website SEEK over the last two weeks were up 133.9 percent compared to the average level in April 2020, the month of alert level 4 lockdown.
SEEK NZ general manager Janet Faulding said new job listings were still well-below pre-COVID levels. But the increase in jobs reflects the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and shows "positive signs" for the employment market.
"With the lifting of restrictions we've seen an increase in job advertising of 133.9 percent in the fortnight ended 14 June, compared to the average of the month of April," Faulding said.
Industries leading job ad growth in early-to-mid June:
- Construction (e.g. project management, surveying)
- Healthcare and medical (e.g. nursing, psychology)
- Information and communication technology (e.g. developers, programmers, project management)
- Manufacturing, transport and logistics (e.g. storage and distribution, machine operators)
- Trades and services (e.g. builders, electricians, labourers).
Although growth was strongest in the main centres, most regions showed an increase in job listings compared to lockdown.
"Canterbury (125.7 percent), Auckland (118.9 percent) and Wellington (112.2 percent) showed positive job ad volume growth in the last two weeks," Faulding added.
A SEEK survey showed that in June, 62 percent of employed and unemployed people surveyed felt optimistic about job prospects and 66 percent felt secure about their current job. In February 2020, before the COVID-19 lockdown, the figures were just over 70 percent.
In May, 44 percent said that their working situation was 'very different' as a result of COVID-19, down from 50 percent in April. More people rated their working situation as 'a bit different', increasing from 36 percent in April to 44 percent in May.
Earlier this month, Infometrics economist Brad Olsen told Newshub that the first wave of unemployment happened during lockdown.
Economic analysis showed a "second wave", around 80,000 jobs, could be lost from June to August. This was based on 5 percent of a total of 1.65 million people coming off the Government COVID-19 wage subsidy.
ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner told Newshub in May that unemployment was forecast to peak at 10.5 percent in Q3, 2020 before dropping to 9.4 percent by the end of the year.