NZ employment confidence high

Euro zone unemployment remains stubbornly high and United States jobs report was weaker than expected, figures released at the weekend show.

However, in New Zealand, the job market continues to thrive, according to an analysis of more than 50,000 roles listed on Trade Me Jobs during the first quarter of the year.

Unemployment in Europe barely moved in the past year.

Data put the unemployment rate at 11.9%, only marginally down from 12% 12 months earlier.

Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland account for 40% of the people in Europe, yet 60% of the 19 million unemployed people reside in those countries.

Craigs Investment Partners broker Chris Timms said on the bright side, January and February were the first months since 2007 where those nations had shown a decline in unemployment.

The US jobs report was ''solid'' but not as good as the market was expecting.

In March, there were 192,000 jobs added.

''It wasn't too far off the consensus estimate of 200,000 - although there was plenty of speculation from some quarters it could have come in well above 200,000.

"It certainly wasn't a terrible report, though, with last month's numbers being revised up to 197,000, from 175,000, and this month's average weekly hours worked hitting a four-month high.''

The participation rate also hit a seven-month high of 63.2%, with the strength widespread across most industries, Mr Timms said. Only the public sector lagged.

The Trade Me data aligned with recent data from Westpac McDermott Miller which found employment confidence was at a high since the recession.

Trade Me Jobs head Peter Osborne said the number of job listings had lifted 21% year-on-year, following on from a 17% lift in the final quarter of last year.

Research showed 45% of employees cited better pay as their primary motivation for considering moving to a new location. But other factors included being made redundant, career development and a desire to relocate.

Auckland remained the powerhouse of the national job market, Mr Osborne said. There was a 20% boost in job listings compared with the previous corresponding period.

Those working in central Auckland could also expect the highest average pay, taking home an average annual salary of $72,302, ahead of previous leader central Wellington ($70,234) and New Plymouth ($61,143).

Canterbury job listings were up 24% on the same time last year.

The rebuilding efforts in the area were still the primary motivators for activity in the employment market.

There was also some good news for the deep South, he said.

''We saw a huge lift in advertised roles in Southland, with a 41% increase. We saw good growth in agriculture, trades and healthcare. Jobs out on the pasture are not in short supply, either, with advertised roles for farming up 113%.''

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