'Phenomenal' increase in job listings as businesses rehire after COVID-19 marred 2020

New Zealand's job market has experienced a 'phenomenal' bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic, new analysis released on Friday shows.

A recent examination of the over 55,000 vacancies listed on TradeMe in Q4 of 2020 found that job listings nationwide were only down 1 percent when compared to the same time in 2019.

In December alone, job listings were up 8 percent on the year prior with strong growth in property (+20 percent), fishing and forestry (+14 percent), automotive (+13 percent) and manufacturing and operations (+12 percent).

Spokesperson Matt Tolich said the growth was "pretty incredible".

"This is a phenomenal outcome given the year that was, blowing even the most optimistic economic predictions out of the water," he said.

Provincial New Zealand also experienced growth with job listings increasing year on year in 12 of the country's regions.

The biggest increase was in Manawatu/Whanganui where listings were up by 32 percent. Nelson/Tasman, Northland and Taranaki also saw substantial increases of 18 percent in Q4.

"A lot of businesses were forced to make deep cuts when we entered lockdown," Tolich said. "By the time the last quarter of 2020 rolled around, the economy was in much better shape and rehiring for these roles likely accounts for some of the stability we saw last quarter."

He said it was great to see the improvements in the market after 2020 was marred by job losses and a battered economy.

"It's remarkable to see the job market looking so healthy when we consider the economic uncertainty that employers faced in 2020 - it's great to see things looking up as we head into a new year."

However, some of New Zealand's main cities saw decreases in listing including Auckland (-15 percent) and Wellington (-3 percent).

Some large sectors in Auckland saw a significant drops including customer service (-48 percent), office and administration (down 46 percent), and marketing, media & communications (-42 percent).

The analysis also found that the national average salary increased by 2 percent to $63,177.

The Wellington region saw a 3 percent increase in its average salary from  $69,897 up from $67,512.

Tolich said it was likely due to a high volume of high paying roles being listed on the TradeMe website.