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Job market improving, indicators show

NZPA

Tuesday 16th August 2011

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Employment indicators released today point to a slightly improving job market, with Canterbury leading the way as it recovers from February's destructive earthquake.

The ANZ bank's job advertisement series recorded a 0.9 percent lift in July, the sixth month of increases. That was driven by a 2.2 percent increase in internet listings, offset by a 3.9 percent fall in newspaper jobs.

For the past four months Christchurch has had more newspaper job vacancies than Auckland and Wellington combined.

Canterbury accounted for about 40 percent of newspaper vacancies in July, up from an historical 17 percent.

The bank's unemployment direction index, which gauges a number of barometers, pointed to a gradually falling unemployment rate.

Meanwhile, a Department of Labour employment indicator was flat in the June quarter, but still pointed to moderate employment growth in the September quarter.

The lead employment indicator, produced by the department's Labour and Immigration Research Centre, edged down 0.1 percent in the three months to June.

But centre head Vasantha Krishnan said that sideways movement did not constitute a turning point, which would need two consecutive quarterly movements in a new direction.

The indicator was still predicting employment would rise by about 0.6 percent in the September quarter and between 0.4 and 0.6 percent in the following two quarters.

The indicator combines five economic indicators, including the stock market index, which historically have been shown to lead turning points in the employment cycle. The indicator has pushed higher since troughing during the second half of 2009.

Meanwhile, the department's Jobs Online monthly report for July showed no growth in online skilled job vacancies, compared to the previous month, while still being 17 percent higher than a year ago.

In Canterbury there was a rise of 4.3 percent and Wellington lifted 1.1 percent, while Auckland declined 0.2 percent.



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