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MBIE’s latest Quarterly Labour Market Report indicates:

• New Zealand’s economic outlook is strengthening
• Employment growth is reaching more regions
• There is greater labour force participation by single mothers, higher participation rates for Pacific peoples and Māori, and the youth labour market improved over the year
• Net migration is high and increasing, as losses to Australia decline

Over the year to March, skilled vacancies increased by 16.5 per cent, and all vacancies by 18.4 per cent. The biggest yearly growth in skilled vacancies was in hospitality and tourism (up 36.7 per cent) and sales, retail, marketing and advertising (up 21.7 per cent) industries. The healthcare and medical industry (down 4.5 per cent) had the only decrease over the year to March.

January 2014 featured the strongest growth in online job vacancies in four and a half years and has now reached pre-recession levels, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report reveals. South Island (excluding Canterbury) had the biggest increase in skilled vacancies (up 32.8 per cent) over the year, followed by Auckland (up 24.5 per cent). Skilled vacancies in the Canterbury region grew by 19.4 per cent over this period.

Ministry Labour Market and Business Performance Manager David Paterson says this strong growth reinforces the overall expansion in the labour market and improved employment and participation shown in the December 2013 quarter of the Household Labour Force Survey. “The Ministry expects the labour market to continue to strengthen, leading to an increase in vacancies,” he says.