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The number of job advertisements lifted by 1.1% in March, making it three out of three monthly rises in the first quarter, the ANZ Job Ads series shows.
There was encouraging news in Otago from the March quarterly and annual data.
ANZ economist Sharon Zollner said the latest result from the ANZ series was encouraging and pointed to an ongoing downward trend in the unemployment rate.
Internet advertising rose 2% month-on-month while newspaper advertisements fell 4.6% month-on-month. Both results were seasonally adjusted.
On a regional basis, the data for newspaper advertisements was volatile and it was best to look at a rolling three-month average.
Despite the bias, the relative regional story was still informative, she said.
The annual change in the three-month measure was strongest in Auckland at 3.2%. Otago was the next-best performer. Wellington and the Manawatu remained the laggards.
Advertisements in the Otago Daily Times are included as part of the series.
Canterbury rebounded after a fall in February to be 1.1% higher than last March.
''This low annual growth rate reflects the Canterbury job market kicking higher three years ago, making annual growth harder to come by. Nonetheless, there is no question the Canterbury job market is strong,'' Ms Zollner said.
Figures released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment showed internet-advertised job vacancies increased by 0.7% in March, following a fall in February.
All job vacancies increased by 1.9%. In the year to March, skilled vacancies increased by 16.7% while all vacancies increased by 20.1%.
In trend terms, both skilled vacancies (up 1.1%) and all vacancies (1.4%) increased in March, the ministry said.
In the past year, the trend in skilled vacancies increased by 16.5%, and all vacancies increased by 18.4%In March, skilled job vacancies increased in three industry groups.
The largest increase was in the healthcare and medical industry (up 4.3%), while the largest monthly fall was in the hospitality and tourism industry (down 2.6%).
But over the year, the largest increases for jobs was in the hospitality and tourism industry (up 36.7%), followed by sales, retail, marketing and advertising (up 21.7%).
Over the year, skilled vacancies increased in all regions, with the largest increase in the South Island (excluding Canterbury) region (up 23.6%), followed by Canterbury (up 22.3%) and Auckland (up 17.3%), the ministry said.
Ms Zollner said the marked acceleration in job ads now evident offered encouragement the improvement observed in the labour market would persist and that the unemployment rate would continue to trend down.