Education top of class with Kiwi employment opportunities on the rise

“We know the Government has a ten year plan to restore, remodel and rebuild schools in the greater Christchurch area."

The Education and Training industry is coming out top of the class with employment opportunities showing strong year on year growth, according to Seek’s latest Labour Market Report.

Nationally, new job ads in the industry increased 18 per cent year on year to February 2015.

Growth was driven by a significant 45 per cent increase in new job ads in Wellington and a 17 per cent increase in Auckland.

Canterbury meanwhile saw a decline of 9 per cent in new job opportunities advertised in Education and Training over the 12 month period.

Seek New Zealand General Manager, Janet Faulding, says Canterbury’s education sector has gone through “significant change” as schools have been consolidated and restructured in response to the closure of many schools post-earthquakes.

“What we’re seeing is the clear impact of this on employment opportunities in the area,” she says.

“We know the Government has a ten year plan to restore, remodel and rebuild schools in the greater Christchurch area.

“The first schools under the plan began reopening in 2014 with more slated for the year ahead.

“We expect the number of education roles in the region to increase in line with the re-establishment of more education centres.”

Looking at the sectors within the industry across New Zealand, new job advertisements under Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary Teaching led the pack in terms of growth, up 43 per cent, 150 per cent and 65 per cent respectively year on year to February 2015.

The strong growth in demand for both Primary and Secondary teaching roles has seen them also become some of the most difficult roles to fill in the industry.

An influx of jobs on Seek in January saw 2015 kick off with a bang, offset by a dip of 2.8 percent in February as the market settled into the year.

Despite this decline, the New Zealand labour market is in better shape now than the same time last year with new job ads up 3.7 per cent in the year to February 2015.

“Factors such as falling fixed mortgage rates and higher property prices are all contributing to optimism in the local economy,” Faulding adds.

“The high performing housing markets of Auckland and Canterbury continue to have a positive impact on labour demand as both centres respond to housing demand.

“In addition, increased migration and high labour force participation have been driving growth in labour supply, another indicator of rising confidence in the local employment market.”

Labour market readings over the December to February period should be interpreted with some caution due to the volatility in readings from the large fluctuations in advertising volume and number of public holidays over the three month period.

Regional trends

Looking across the major regions, Auckland has driven the employment growth with a year on year increase in new job ads of 9 per cent.

Canterbury experienced a modest increase of 2 per cent in the year to February 2015, the rate of growth in the region now slowing following large gains over the last 18 months.

Wellington’s new job ads dropped 9 per cent year on year.

With two months of data available for the year it is still unclear what the outlook is for the Wellington market with a month on month increase of 4 per cent in new job ads in January 2015 offset by a 9 per cent decline in the month to February.

“The Capital’s employment market experienced a number of fluctuations in 2014 so it is hard to say if the recorded decline in jobs ads is a sign of things to come or simply a result of a slow start to 2015,” Faulding adds.

“We continue to watch and monitor the market as we move further into 2015.”

The Seek Employment Index (SEI) for February 2015 is 8.9 percent lower than the same time last year, a reflection of labour market participation increasing at a faster rate than job advertisements.

This decline was echoed in all regions during the same timeframe, the shift driven by Canterbury with a decrease of 14 percent year on year, followed by Wellington at 13 percent and Auckland at 5 percent.

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