Thursday, September 16, 2021

Job listings fall as Covid-19 restrictions reintroduced

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The reintroduction of Covid-19 restrictions saw the number of job listings fall sharply in August.

Construction ads were among those that dipped the most in August, the report found.
Photo: 123RF

The latest BNZ Bank/Seek New Zealand employment report shows jobs ads fell 12 percent last month, but are up by more than half on a year ago.

It marks the first time in several months where listings have fallen.

Job applications fell 6 percent from the previous month.

“Unsurprisingly, August’s job ads began to reflect the renewed Covid-19 level 4 restrictions that came into effect mid-month,” BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert said.

“The 12 percent reported drop, compared to July, would have included a solid first half to the August numbers, inferring a more material drop occurred over the latter half as businesses took stock of the abruptly changed situation.”

Job ads fell by 73 percent during the first three weeks of last year’s alert level 4 lockdown in April, compared with a 25 percent dip this time round.

Ebert said the latest numbers indicated that there was an underlying level of resilience in job advertising compared to what occurred during last year’s lockdown.

Industries that saw the biggest decline in job listings were the trades, hospitality, tourism and retail sectors.

“It’s also worth noting that construction ads were among those that dipped the most in August,” Ebert said, “This industry, as it happens, has the second-highest proportion of its jobs supported by the reinstated wage subsidy.”

The only industry to report a lift in job listings last month was the banking and finance sector.

Job listings fell across all regions in August, with Taranaki recording the steepest drop, down 19 percent.

With all areas outside of Auckland now out of the strictest of Covid restrictions the regional split in September’s data would be more interesting to work through, Ebert said.

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Graphic: Supplied / BNZ / Seek

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