9 Dec 2021

Covid-19 lockdowns leads to lowest job applications, despite record advertisements

11:17 am on 9 December 2021

It has been a year of highs and lows for the labour market with record job ad numbers, the lowest ever applications per job ad as the lockdowns unsettled job seekers.

A Hamilton woman says her ten year search for work has uncovered employers bad attitudes to disabled job hunters.

Photo: 123rf

Seek NZ Year in Review report recorded five consecutive months of record-breaking job ad numbers, with July ads up 88 percent on the year earlier.

"2021 was another rollercoaster on the employment front, with job ads exceeding historical records again and again between May and July," country manager Rob Clark said.

But the August lockdowns saw that growth come to an abrupt end, with applications per job ads falling to record lows in November.

The report indicates the cause was a workforce more conscious of job security than ever before and a smaller talent pool available to fill roles.

"The extended lockdown in the country's biggest city of Auckland impacted not only roles within that city, but resulted in ripple effects across the nation," it says.

Consumer services was the hardest hit sector, but was also the first to rebound, with a 70 percent lift in job ads.

The top four industries in terms of the number of jobs growth was information & communications technology (ICT) (up 46 percent year-over-year), manufacturing, transport & logistics (up 46 percent year-over-year), trades and services (up 18 percent year-over-year) and healthcare & medical (up 49 percent year-over-year).

"Despite lockdowns disrupting the market, job ads remained above pre-pandemic levels from March onwards, with particular growth in the ICT and manufacturing, transport & logistics industries," Clark said.

"The decline in applications per job ad eased in the latter half of the year and we expect some positive movement there in early 2022 as workers return from summer holidays and begin looking at new roles in earnest."

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