IT jobs rise on back of online trend

Job vacancies are racing to the internet in New Zealand, with IT vacancies leading the charge.

The overall number of jobs being advertised on the internet has risen for each of the past four months, while the number of IT positions continues to increase steadily.

The number of job ads on the six sites ANZ Bank monitors as a measure of economic health, Seek, JobUniverse, Jobnet (Jobstuff), NZJobs, Monster and NetCheck, grew by nearly 50% between April 2000 and April 2001, says ANZ chief economist Bernard Hodgetts. In March, the number of jobs surpassed the previous high in September 2000 of 14,527, to hit 14,837, and last month reached a new peak of 15,248. Growth in job numbers has increased by at least 2.8% each month since December.

"I guess it's testament to just how popular internet advertising has become," says Hodgetts.

The number of newspaper-based ads also grew in most New Zealand regions in the past couple of months.

Meanwhile, Australasian jobs website seek.co.nz has launched an IT-only service, seekIT, within the main Seek site, boasting "15,000 IT jobs". However, only 1200 SeekIT jobs appear to be based in New Zealand, including 622 in Auckland and 549 in Wellington. JobUniverse, operated by Computerworld publishers IDG, in comparison recorded 6174 registered "live" users - those receiving job alerts. The site recorded 710 job applicants in March, 2740 vacancies and 2547 job applications.

Melbourne-based Seek chief executive Paul Bassat says while advertised IT job vacancies were down on the highs of last year, there were still plenty of IT jobs out there and the "IT job slump is over-exaggerated".

Hodgetts notes that ad numbers on the net in Australia have begun to ease - along with newspaper ads - "reflecting the more difficult economic environment". This observation is backed up by Australian recruitment firm Olivier Group, whose national internet job index has fallen to its lowest level since April 2000. The employment slump has been most notable in New South Wales and Victoria. Australian IT and telecomms job vacancies have declined slowly but steadily since September 2000.

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