Employment company Seek says job ad levels declined in the month of December, but applications per job ad recorded the greatest monthly increase since 2020.

Job ad levels declined particularly in the populous regions of Auckland and Wellington, with the two cities seeing a month-on-month edge down of 6% and a 14% year-on-year loss as well. 

Seek’s country manager, Rob Clark, said while job numbers were going up and down, the number of applications and the number of applicants per application was still “pretty strong”.

“That's good news for hiring because in the past we've just had really low applications per job just because the number of jobs has been so high,” he said.

“We're sort of looking for that perfect balance between the number of jobs and the availability of those jobs being filled.”

Trades and services sector

Clark said that the trades and services sector remained the industry with the most ads on site and job ad levels on the rise – up 2% in the month of December. 

The hospitality sector, on the other hand, remained “volatile” and fell 12%. Engineering jobs fell further, down 15% in the same month.

But despite the falling job ad numbers, Seek did find that candidates were much more confident about applying for jobs than they were during the pandemic.

“In contrast, applications per job ad recorded the greatest monthly increase since the covid-19 pandemic impacted the job market in 2020,” Clark said.

Applications per ad had increased in almost all industries and levels had now returned to where they were pre-pandemic, he added.

“It’s pleasing to see those applications per job numbers staying strong.”