Job advertisements numbers have bounced back to a record high, led by continued strong growth in the regions.
ANZ's job ads index rose a seasonally-adjusted 1 percent in August, from July.
Ads in the main centres lagged behind the rest of the country, with Auckland falling in each of the past four months.
ANZ economist Sharon Zollner said it was hard to tell whether labour demand had come off the boil or whether firms had given up on advertising because of chronic skill shortages.
She said it could be a mixture of both.
"It is not surprising that job ads are levelling out after strong growth.
"However, it is notable that the level of job ads in Auckland is actually falling," she said.
"It is hard to know how much this reflects weaker demand for labour, and how much simply reflects employers giving up on advertising for staff, given the tightness of the labour market."