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Heading into uncharted waters

With significant uncertainty unfolding in the business environment across ALL areas of Queenstown, JobFix looks at the first two months of the year and also an early insight into March JobFix vacancy numbers. The market has pivoted from looking for staff to hiring freezes and redundancies amidst a ballooning economic downturn that the majority of businesses are dealing with.

 

Summary

  • The number of Job openings in January and February were both up on last year as the first impacts hit in the form of weather and then early coronavirus reports. Initially this looked like a short sharp jolt and while local job vacancies slowed they were consistent with prior year, but the last three weeks has seen a major change as the realization that Queenstown is in for a rough time in the near term.
  • January job openings was up 5% on December and significantly up on 2019. February saw the recruitment breaks start to be applied and the first two weeks of March the pull back in Job openings is intensifying with market contraction at around 18%.
  • The annual trend in the index is now at negative 5% and we are expecting this to continue until clarity returns for local business.

 

Historically Feb-April forms the shoulder season in the jobs market but this year iT's likely that these months will form the low periods of the year as companies stop recruiting altogether.  With winter and hopefully a great snow season, business confidence will pick up again but until then we expect to see a slowing in the volume of job ads until at least the start of the winter.