The labour market has taken a negative turn across our main cities and industries, with demand holding up in some highly specialised roles.
Job vacancies fell with weakening demand in Auckland and Wellington.
The latest Seek employment report shows the number of job ads fell 2 percent in September, following a small rise in August and four months of declines from April to June.
Seek NZ country manager Rob Clark said application levels were high, meaning the balance of power had shifted to hirers.
"Most regions recorded a decline in job ads in September, with Auckland and Wellington driving this.
"While we saw a little increase in August the trend has been downward for the past six months. We're now at the similar levels to what we saw in 2019, so we can think about a normalising of the market."
Job ads in Auckland fell 4 percent in September, while Wellington declined 3 percent from the previous month.
However, there was some evidence of strength in regional areas.
Job listings in Otago increased 7 percent, while Manawatu and Taranaki experienced small lifts of 1 percent.
Vacancies were also up in Southland by 4 percent, and the West Coast experienced a surge of 8 percent month-on-month. Gisborne also saw a 5 percent increase in listings.
The big industries of trades, services and manufacturing, and transport and logistics slipped back.
Consulting and strategy saw the sharpest sector falls of 12 percent followed by real estate and property, and human resources and recruitment, down 11 percent.
Meanwhile, the National Job Index from trans-Tasman recruitment firm RCSA painted a brighter picture with a 3.7 percent increase in job postings for the September quarter.