‘Remarkable’ run of New Zealand job seekers set to continue as borders close; trade me


2021 has been a standout year for job seekers, says Trade Me Jobs sales manager Matt Tolich.

Brooke Gardiner / Stuff

2021 has been a standout year for job seekers, says Trade Me Jobs sales manager Matt Tolich.

Job postings on Trade Me surged in 2021 and the average salary rose by 5%, with the good times for job seekers set to continue while borders remain closed due to Covid.

The legal sector saw the largest pay increase in the final three months of the year, rising 19% from a year earlier to $73,058.

However, IT remained the highest-paying industry with an average of $129,006, up 14% from a year earlier, Trade Me Jobs sales manager Matt Tolich said.

“As we’ve seen consistently throughout 2021, IT roles have continued to pay the most, with the sector really feeling the brunt of the talent shortage and skyrocketing wages as a result,” Tolich said in a statement on Thursday.

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With the coronavirus pandemic closing borders and disrupting normal labor flows, New Zealand businesses have been unable to hire foreign workers.

Additionally, New Zealand workers in certain industries have been sought after by Australian employers, with reports of salary offers for IT graduates of over $215,000 across Tasman.

“2021 has been a standout year for the labor market, with enrollment numbers beating even the most optimistic forecasts made earlier in the year,” Tolich said.

Covid closures have caused vacancies to fluctuate wildly throughout the year, but annual vacancies are up 51% on 2020 and the national average wage is up 5 %.

In the December quarter, Trade Me job postings were 25% higher than the same time in 2020, and the national average salary rose 6% to a record high of $66,946.

Job vacancies and record wages mean 2021 has favored job seekers, he said.

“Job seekers will be delighted to hear that this is still the case as we enter the new year.

“We are still facing a massive shortage of applicants which will not be alleviated until the borders are reopened.”

Job postings were up across all regions at the end of 2021, with the biggest jumps on the West Coast, up 50%; Hawke’s Bay, up 39%; and Canterbury, up 36%.

The only industries to see a drop in the number of vacancies were architecture and real estate. Science and technology saw a 60% increase in job openings for the year, thanks to the strength of the technology industry.

The cities of Wellington and Auckland were the highest paid areas in the fourth quarter with average salaries of $81,246 and $79,617 respectively.

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