MBIE Jobs Online Quarterly Report – March 2024

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The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s Jobs Online Quarterly Report for March 2024 offers a comprehensive look at the online job market trends in New Zealand. This analysis covers the quarterly and annual changes in online job advertisements, shedding light on the state of the labour market and its implications.

Overview of Online Job Advertisements

In the March 2024 quarter, online job advertisements fell by 5.4%, marking the seventh consecutive quarterly decrease since September 2022. On an annual basis, vacancies dropped by 26.7%. These declines highlight a continuing trend of reduced job opportunities, reflecting broader economic uncertainties and shifts in labour demand.

Industry-Specific Trends

The report reveals that online job advertisements declined across all industries. The IT sector experienced the most significant quarterly fall, down 10.8%, followed by Manufacturing and Construction, which dropped by 7.2% and 6.6%, respectively. Conversely, the Education sector saw the smallest decline at 0.9%. This trend suggests a relative stability in education-related roles compared to other sectors.

Year-over-year comparisons paint a similar picture, with job advertisements lower across all industries. Notably, the Education industry saw growth in Northland, and both Hospitality and Healthcare sectors grew in Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay. This indicates regional variations and sector-specific resilience despite overall declines.

Occupational and Skill Level Analysis

Job advertisements decreased for all occupational groups in the March 2024 quarter. Professionals experienced the largest fall at 7.9%, while Sales occupations saw the smallest decrease at 2.3%. Over the year, Labourers faced the steepest decline in job ads, down 37.9%, reflecting a significant contraction in demand for low-skilled labour.

Skill levels also saw declines across the board. Highly-skilled job ads fell by 8.0% in the quarter, while Unskilled job ads saw the largest annual drop at 35.8%. This broad-based decline suggests that the contraction in job opportunities is impacting all levels of the workforce, from highly skilled professionals to unskilled workers.

Regional Insights

The report provides a detailed regional analysis, indicating that online job advertising fell in all regions during the March 2024 quarter. Wellington experienced the largest quarterly decline at 12.1%, while Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay saw the smallest drop at 2.7%. Over the year, Wellington also recorded the most significant annual decline at 35.0%, followed by Canterbury and Auckland, with decreases of 27.3% and 27.2%, respectively.

These regional disparities highlight how local economic conditions and sectoral compositions can influence job market dynamics. The growth in Hospitality and Healthcare job ads in Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay suggests that some regions may still experience pockets of demand despite overall market contractions.

Implications for the Labour Market

The continuous decline in online job advertisements underscores a softening labour market. According to the ANZ Business Outlook, a net 3.5% of firms intended to hire more people in March 2024, down from 7.0% in December 2023. This decrease in hiring intentions indicates growing caution among employers amid economic uncertainties.

The relationship between online job advertisements and labour demand is complex. A drop in job ads can signal reduced employment opportunities or a shift towards alternative hiring methods such as word-of-mouth or social networks. Conversely, it might also indicate lower turnover rates within industries, suggesting stability rather than decline.


The March 2024 Jobs Online Quarterly Report paints a picture of a challenging job market in New Zealand. With declines across all industries, occupations, skill levels, and regions, the labour market is experiencing broad-based contractions. While some sectors and regions show relative resilience, the overall trend points to cautious hiring and economic uncertainties impacting the demand for labour.

Understanding these dynamics is crucial for policymakers, businesses, and job seekers as they navigate the evolving job market landscape. By monitoring these trends, stakeholders can make informed decisions to support employment and address the challenges facing the workforce.

For further details and data, the full report is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s website:  https://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/jobs-online-quarterly-data-release.pdf