Surge in jobs on Seek

Job applications listed on SEEK continue to surge upwards in February following a record number of site visits in January 2012

A significant surge in job applications in February has been reported by New Zealand’s largest online job advertisement source SEEK, after January saw the site raking in a record number of online visits.

Applications in the February month for the online job-advertising site rose by more than 9,500 applicants compared to January 2012, with the website currently listing over 16,200 jobs.

Although the number of new job ads increased in February, the number of applications for those job roles increased at a faster rate than they could be listed, resulting in a decrease in the SEEK Employment Index (SEI), which measures the number of jobs listed to the site to the number of corresponding applications.

Sarah Wesley, trade marketing & PR manager at SEEK, says the months least active in applications through the site are usually gravitated around the January period.

“Typically January is one of our quieter months for applications, usually because it is quite a short month when you take into account how long the traditional Kiwi Christmas is around this time,” says Ms Wesley.

“Generally what we see is an increase in applications around the third week of January when the work year tends to begin for most workers. We think last January’s surge in site visits means is people have been looking into new job opportunities throughout this month, which triggered action amongst applicants in February last month.”

The SEEK New Job Ad Index rose in February by 1.6% with the current index now 2.8% higher than the corresponding time last year, showing the site’s long-term growth trend to be highly positive.

Ms Wesley says the surge in applicants so far this year is growing at a faster rate than the previous year, with March last year being the peak month for applications received on SEEK.

“So far this year the surge in applicants is a little early compared to 2011, so who knows what the end of March this year will bring,” added MS Wesley.

“The main drive that we know of regarding why people start to look for a new job and apply, based on research carried out in New Zealand, is the desire for workers to seek new challenges, better pay or benefits, and a general feeling of being unappreciated in the current role they may have.”

Going into specifics, the top five classifications that received the most applications in February, beginning with the highest, were Retail Assistants, Administrative Assistants, Customer Service & Call Centre roles, Sales Representations/Consultants, and Receptionists.

In terms of progression, the top five classifications that received the biggest increase in applications last month were Science & Technology (72%), Design & Architecture (65%), CEO & General Management (43%), Farming, Animals & Conservation (39%) and Engineering (30%).

An analysis of online job vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs was released earlier this year, reflecting the trending increase by a rise of 21% found in the December 2011 quarter compared to the corresponding time in 2010.

Back in January Pete Ashby, head of Trade Me Jobs, commented on the results saying that although the increase looked promising, it had been lower than the previous quarter’s increase of 30%.

“The job market has clearly shifted down a gear when you compare this quarter’s 21% growth listings with last quarter’s 30%,” said Mr Ashby.

Putting the current job market situation into perspective, the Department of Labour released its monthly Jobs Online report, which focuses on changes in job vacancies advertised on the internet’s two main job boards SEEK and Trade Me Jobs.

The report shows that skilled online job vacancies rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in January 2012 following a decrease in December last year, with all job vacancies also increasing by 0.8%.

When comparing these results from those found a year earlier, growth in job vacancies for skilled jobs went up by 8.4% with the total amount of job vacancies rising by 9.7%, a growth trend that’s been observed since August of 2009 when they were at their lowest due to the Global Financial Crisis.

With the current job market looking more towards the upside, those complaining about a ‘lack’ of job opportunities today may need to make use of their computer keyboard.