16 Apr 2015

Slowdown in job market growth

3:35 pm on 16 April 2015

Auckland's job market continues to lead the charge for workers but there are signs the overall labour market is slowing.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The ANZ Bank's monthly survey has found the number of seasonally adjusted jobs fell by 0.8 percent in March to just under 37,000.

On an annual basis, job ads increased by 5.3 percent, down from 8 percent in the year to February.

On a quarterly basis, Auckland has the strongest growth at 11.1 percent.

But Canterbury jobs fell by 0.7 percent and Wellington fell 5.4 percent.

ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said, putting Auckland aside, the latest figures pointed to a long-expected slowdown after five years of very strong growth.

Ms Zollner said they also indicated many firms were struggling to find workers.

"You would expect some moderation at this point, but it may also reflect that a lot of businesses are reporting that it's extremely difficult to find skilled staff," she said.

"So there may be an element of them giving up and not bothering to advertise jobs."

Ms Zollner said the dip in Canterbury may indicate that the scramble to find enough workers for the rebuild has peaked.

Australia adds jobs

Meanwhile, Australia's unemployment rate has unexpectedly dropped slightly, to 6.1 percent, as an estimated 37,700 jobs were added to the economy.

The country's Bureau of Statistics estimated that 31,500 of those jobs were full time, with 6100 extra part-time positions.

The March unemployment rate decreased less than 0.1 of a percentage point from 6.2 percent in February.

The Australian dollar rose more than 0.5 percent on the news.

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