Job listings fall as applications per ad hit all-time high - SEEK data

Job listings are continuing to fall as the number of applications per advert hits an all-time high, according to the latest data. 

SEEK NZ released its latest employment report on Tuesday which showed job ad volumes had declined 4 percent month on month and were down a whopping 26 percent compared with this time last year. 

Job ads are now just 1 percent higher than they were in July 2019, the report showed. Meanwhile, applications per listing are now at the highest level on record, up 11 percent month on month. 

SEEK NZ country manager Rob Clark said while job ads are declining overall, they are stronger in the regions where there is still demand for workers. 

"This is particularly true for the community services and development and sport and recreation industries, where job ad volumes are significantly higher than pre-COVID," Clark said. 

"Applications per job ad are now at record high levels, meaning there is now more competition for the jobs available than ever before. We are seeing an increase in the number of applications that are coming from overseas, with the most applications directed at entry-level or support services roles. 

"Applications per job ad in manufacturing, transport and logistics, and community services and development rose by 24 percent month-on-month, which is an incredible amount. Aged and disability support roles saw a 51 percent increase in applications per ad in June alone."

National insights 

Job ads fell for a fourth month, dropping 4 percent in July. Volumes are now 26 percent down year on year and just 1 percent higher than July 2019 volumes. 

Applications per job ad have increased by more than 10 percent for the past four months, rising 11 percent in June

Region insights 

Most regions recorded a decline in job ad volumes in July, apart from Hawkes Bay, which recorded no change month on month and West Coast, which rose by 1 percent. 

Declines in the largest regions drove the overall decline, with Auckland falling 4 percent, Wellington down 5 percent and Canterbury dropping 6 percent. 

Job ad volumes are still higher than they were in July 2019 in most regions, especially in the smaller regions of Gisborne (133 percent) and Hawkes Bay (60 percent). 

Demand for workers in the smaller regions as a whole has grown significantly since July 2019, increasing by 30 percent, while metro regions have declined by 9 percent. 

Applications per job ad rose in all regions, apart from Southland. There was a 17 percent increase in applications per job ad in Bay of Plenty, 14 percent in Waikato and 13 percent in Auckland. 

Industry insights 

Four industries recorded an increase in job ads in July, including a 5 percent rise in administration and office support and sport and recreation volumes. 

The overall decline was driven by declines in the large industries of manufacturing, transport and logistics (down 8 percent), information and communication technology (down 7 percent) and trades and services (down 6 percent). 

Despite this, there is still high demand for workers in some sectors in comparison to pre-COVID. Notably in the public (up 25 percent) and industrial sectors (up 12 percent). 

Applications per job increased from the month prior in all but four industries, including manufacturing, transport and logistics and community services and development which both rose by 24 percent.