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June jobs market takes a tumble

June jobs market takes a tumble

Queenstown’s job market is full, very full with local businesses reporting potential workers walking in with CV’s looking for a job with very few on offer. What a turn around? This time last year you couldn’t find a candidate for love nor money.

Last June JobFix reported 858 roles being advertised in the local market with 450 available in hospo alone. Roll forward twelve months and that number was double ALL the roles combined this year with JobFix reporting just 234 roles and just 99 in hospo.

Hotels are assigning up to 10% of their available room inventory to house staff to both retain key staff and ensure they aren’t forced into sleeping in a car over winter. The strategy appears to be working as the roles in the accommodation sector are sought after with just 18 available across June compared with 153 same time last year and even 53 last month (May23). See story: Queenstown hotels potentially lose hundreds of thousands.

The June result is another reminder that the local jobs market is returning to the traditional cycle. June is traditionally the lowest month for roles available in the resort town as local businesses start to get a handle on how many roles they will require for the remainder of winter once the school holidays arrive and hopefully as does the snow.


Local jobs market aligns with the national picture

Nationally the labour market remained tight, although there are signs of softening. During the March quarter, the unemployment rate was recorded at 3.4% and the underutilization rate, a broad measure of spare capacity in the labour market, was recorded at 9.0%, the lowest since 2008.

For the year ending March 2023, net migration increased to 65,400 people. This includes more people entering New Zealand on the Working Holiday Scheme. As at 31 March 2023, 28,800 people were on the Working Holiday Scheme (an increase of 723% over the year).

The demand for labour appears to be slowing, with employment intentions from the latest ANZ’s Business Outlook survey (May 2023) easing for all sectors except for construction. The construction sector saw an improvement in both hiring intentions and its own activity outlook in May 2023.

The weakening in labour demand can also be seen in the fall in online job advertisements, with the All Vacancies Index (AVI) falling by 20.5% over the year to May 2023. This is replicated in the Queenstown labour market where the index fell by 14% with construction the only sector to grow +8%.