Job advertisements have taken a plunge, with the biggest monthly drop in about a year.
The ANZ job index fell a seasonally-djusted 2.9% in September, erasing the previous three months of gains.
Newpaper ads fell 6% and online job vacancy ads 2.4%.
Job advertisements rose in Canterbury, but fell in Auckland, Wellington and several other regions.
ANZ New Zealand senior economist Sharon Zollner, says the trend indicates a flat labour market as the economy remains tepid.
On Wednesday, data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, showed skilled jobs were a seasonally-adjusted 5.4% lower in September than August, and total online vacancies had fallen by 4.5%.
"The labour market's been fairly tepid since the economy came out of recession, reflecting the fact that the economy as a whole hasn't be growing all that fast," says Ms Zollner.
"But we are starting to hear a few more anedotes of job losses, particularly in the tradable sector, and job ads can be an early warning sign."