Wages climb, job market 'levelling off'

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Wages are continuing to climb as employers fight to secure talent, but there are signs the job market is stabilising.

Data from Trade Me for the three months ended June showed the nationwide average salary increased by 2 percent year-on-year, to reach $66,016.

The number of jobs listed on the website fell 5 percent compared with the same period last year.

"This is the first time we have seen a year-on-year drop in listings since 2020, but what we're really seeing now is the market finding its feet again," Trade Me Jobs sales director Matt Tolich said.

The number of roles advertised in the second quarter was 19 percent higher than pre-Covid-19 levels, he said.

"The jobs market looks to be levelling off, but it's certainly still in a stronger position than it was in the pre-pandemic world."

The strongest job listing growth was in Marlborough, followed by Taranaki and Canterbury. Auckland and Wellington had the biggest decline in job listings over the second quarter.

Tourism led the growth in job vacancies, up 7 percent, along with healthcare which was up 4 percent.

The biggest drop in job listings was in construction and roading, down 16 percent, followed by agriculture, fishing and forestry, down 13 percent, compared to the same time last year.

In terms of salaries, Marlborough again led the way in year-on-year salary increases for the second quarter, followed by Manawatū/Whanganui and Taranaki.

Wellington was the only region where salary growth fell, though the region still had the country's highest average salary.

Tolich said the national average salary increases were due to the rising cost of living and the competitive job market.

"The increasing cost of living is top of mind for many Kiwis, and employers are feeling pressure to pay more to keep up with inflation. On top of this, putting more money on the table continues to be a great way for Kiwi businesses to attract candidates in the talent-short market.

"These market conditions mean candidates have a lot of bargaining power, and it's a great time for Kiwis to look at their options, or ask for a pay rise."

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