19 Apr 2024

Latest job stats show public sector cuts being felt

1:35 pm on 19 April 2024
Stylised illustration of some people working at cubicles and others disappearing

Photo: RNZ

Public sector cuts appear to be having an impact, particularly in Wellington, the latest jobs statistics show.

More than 3000 jobs have already been announced as going from government departments and agencies.

And Trade Me data showed listings for jobs in central government were down 77 percent year on year, and 34 percent for the past three months.

The average salary in Wellington was down 3.3 percent on the previous quarter to $72,062, the biggest percentage drop across all the regions.

The number of job applications in Wellington increased by about 18 percent compared to the last three months of 2023.

Trade Me's Matt Tolich said Wellington was beginning to show the impact of public sector job cuts.

Overall the number of job listings in the three months to March rose, up 11.7 percent compared to the previous quarter.

"So there are still jobs out there, businesses are still hiring but obviously a really really tough time for many candidates."

Tolich said the listings increase showed employers were still looking for staff despite the challenging economic conditions.

"Among the biggest increases in listings were in agriculture, office and administration and the hospitality and tourism sectors."

The number of overall applications was also up for the quarter, by 15.4 percent, driven by migration and those who had lost their job, Tolich said.

Tolich said it was now an employers' market. Another Trade Me survey had shown 95 percent of businesses intended hiring at least one more person in the next 12 months.

While the situation was dire for some of those wanting jobs in the capital, other regions were also being affected. In Auckland the number of job applcation numbers was up 160 percent in a year, in part driven by a surge in migration as well as job layoffs.

"Across all regions we're seeing job listings down and application numbers up which is demand and supply."

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