Central Hawkes Bay replaces Auckland as top paid region, average salary down 3.6 pct

The job market is heating up with an increase in applications, but the jobs being applied for have a lower salary on average.  

In January, there was an overall drop of 3.6 percent in average annual salaries compared to December 2023, according to TradeMe Jobs.  

Most regions saw a decline in salary, with Northland and Taranaki the only areas bucking the trend.  

Central Hawkes Bay has surpassed Auckland with the highest average salary with $78,100 compared to $77,769.  

Wellington holds third place with $75,650.  

Spokesperson Patrick Cairns said the top jobs in Central Hawkes Bay are centred around construction and roading which pay over $150,000.  

"While it signals that Hawkes Bay can compete with larger regions in terms of average salary, it's important to note there are fewer job opportunities compared to Auckland," Cairns said, "the diversity of jobs in Auckland contributes to bringing down the average." 

January saw a 54 percent increase in total applications compared to December.  

"This goes to show that as Kiwis return from the holiday break, they are looking for a new role to kick off the year." 

Industries experiencing heightened demand include hospitality/tourism, retail and transport.  

Last month, it was revealed that the country's unemployment rate had reached 4 percent.  

Becky Collett from Stats NZ told Newshub the rate had returned to pre-pandemic levels, following recent historic lows. 

Cairns said it's a good time for employers to think about hiring new staff.  

"This year we may see the job market lean towards employers, with more people in the country trying to find work," Cairns said, "that means those looking for a new role will need to make sure their job profile and CV stands out."