Some sectors still crying out for workers despite fall in job listings, rise in applications per ad

Some sectors are still crying out for workers, despite a drop in the number of jobs advertised on employment site SEEK.

At the same time, applications per job are at an all-time high. 

New Zealand clothing retailer AS Colour has been trading since 2005, and Newmarket store manager Lauren van Emmerick is busy right now.

"I've hired a Christmas casual just to help out with the busyness," van Emmerick told Newshub.

And it would seem that casual staffer got in just in time, because data from SEEK shows a 5 percent drop in the number of listings in November.

"There were a lot of people applying, quite a few people coming into the store with their CV which was quite nice," said van Emmerick.

Retail was the lead contributor to the decline in job ads in November, down 12 percent, followed by hospitality down 9 percent.

While it's expected that hiring within these industries would slow down near the end of the year, retail in particular has been recording a downward trend in hiring for the past three months.

"Retailers have reported being able to fill the gap of vacancies and also people are staying a little bit longer," said Carolyn Young, CEO of Retail NZ.

It comes as the immigration boom in Aotearoa continues to smash records, with a net migration gain of about 129,000 in the year to October.

"Immigration certainly helps," Young told Newshub.

"The inflow of migrants will be really helping out, particularly in areas where they're less skilled," said Nick Tuffley, chief economist at ASB.

Carolyn Young, Retail NZ's CEO, and Nick Tuffley, ASB's chief economist.
Carolyn Young, Retail NZ's CEO, and Nick Tuffley, ASB's chief economist. Photo credit: Newshub.

But people are leaving in big numbers too, with a net loss of 44,500 New Zealand citizens - often with critical skills.

"Even though we've had a big inflow of immigration, our unemployment rate is still relatively low, and in those skilled areas it can still be quite difficult to find the right people with the right skills," Tuffley told Newshub.

There is a secondary teacher shortage crisis, according to the union that represents them.

And Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand continues to face staffing pressures, including specialist nurses in mental health and addiction, and in critical care.

While the economy shrunk in the September quarter, at least retail businesses are feeling some relief on the staffing front.

"Great to see stores with customers in them and people to serve them."

But for jobseekers it means opportunities in Aotearoa might not be quite as abundant as the garments on display.