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Spurt in second quarter job ads, driven by quake rebuild

BUSINESSDESK: Growth in New Zealand job advertisements on the Trade Me website accelerated in the second quarter of the year, underpinned by continued demand for construction and architecture workers in Canterbury and a jump in legal and banking positions.

The number of jobs advertised on the country's most popular website rose 7.4% in the three months ended June 30, according to Trade Me, led by a 48% jump in legal positions and a 33% increase in banking, finance and insurance.

Construction and architecture listings rose 27% in the quarter and are up 79% from the same period a year earlier.

"The spectre of the Christchurch rebuild continues to loom large and comes with enormous opportunities for kiwi job-seekers," head of Trade Me jobs Pete Ashby said.

The listings rise comes as households remain downbeat about the labour market, with a net 61% of respondents in the Westpac McDermott Miller survey saying jobs are hard to get. In May, government figures showed the unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 6.7% as more people started looking for work in a tight market.

Accounting job ads showed the biggest decline in the quarter, down 16%, followed by an 8.4% fall in human resources and recruitment positions. Advertised HR and recruitment jobs showed the biggest annual fall, down 23%, followed by a 21% decline in retail job ads.

"In recruitment land, consultancies are also in a holding pattern until the game-changing all-of-government tender results are known," Mr Ashby said.

Canterbury continued to provide "a huge impetus in job listings" with the region's ads up 18% in the quarter and 49% from the same period in 2011, he said.

Marlborough jobs ads showed the biggest fall in the quarter, down 11%, while Nelson/Tasman job ads fell 10%. Northland job listings showed the biggest annual decline, down 7.2%, followed by Wellington, which was down 6.9% from a year earlier.