Tech shines as Auckland and Wellington face off in “wage war”

Tech shines as Auckland and Wellington face off in “wage war”

$2 separates cities as technology sector continues to pay highest salaries

The average wage in Wellington is neck-and-neck with Auckland, as both cities battle to become the highest earning area in New Zealand.

According to an analysis of more than 72,000 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs, the technology sector one again ranked as the highest earning industry across the country.

Specifically, technology roles filled all of the five highest paid positions in the second quarter of 2018 with IT architects earning the most at an average salary of $156,402.

“If you’re looking for a high-paying job, the IT sector still offers the highest average salary at $112,811 followed by roles in the property sector at $84,657 and the architecture sector at $83,218,” explained Jeremy Wade, head of Trade Me Jobs.

Meanwhile, Wade said the average salary in Wellington was up seven per cent on last year to $71,558 - hot on the heels of Auckland where wage growth was up just 0.2 per cent to $71,560.

“After dominating 2017, the capital has been chasing Auckland for the highest earning area this year and there’s now just a paltry $2 difference,” Wade added.

“With lower living costs and employers putting more money on the table, the grass could be greener for employees in the capital.”

Wade attributed a chunk of the “solid job growth” in Wellington to the relatively new Labour-led Government assuming power and with the public servant cap being lifted last month, this growth should continue in the third quarter.

Around the country

Findings show the national average wage remained relatively flat year-on-year, increasing just 0.7 per cent in the last year to $60,970, although some regions were doing “particularly well”, according to Wade.

“The Wellington region was leading the pack with the highest increase in the average salary, up 7.1 per cent to $66,461, along with Gisborne which jumped up 6.5 per cent on last year to $59,017 and the West Coast which was up 4.8 per cent to reach $60,344,” Wade said.

“It’s a job hunter’s market with the average number of job applications down 6.3 per cent across the country."

Wade said this was due to “reasonably prosperous” times and the country being near natural full employment.

“With employer confidence at a five-year low and job growth flattening, the job market is evening out and it looks like a good time to dust off that CV if you want to make a move,” Wade added.

“If things continue this way, we could see a dip in job ads in the next quarter and a swing back towards employers with more applicants than roles in some sectors.”

South Island

Wade said most of the South Island saw a boost in job listings year-on-year with the West Coast (up 19.8 per cent), Nelson (up 18.8 per cent) and Southland (up 18.4 per cent) the strongest performers.

Specifically, job growth in these regions has been driven by roles in trades and services.

In addition, Auckland, Marlborough and Canterbury were the only regions in the country to experience a year-on-year dip in job listings, down 6.1 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.

Wade said, the Auckland job market “took a breath” in the second quarter.

“After such stellar growth in 2017 it’s no surprise things have eased a year later,” Wade added. “Traditionally the regions immediately surrounding Auckland continue the trend a few months later so there are some concerns Auckland’s job market slowdown could ripple out into these ‘halo’ regions in the next quarter.

“However, if Government decisions around key infrastructure projects provide some market certainty, we should see it bounce back pretty quickly.”

Wade said the national number of job listings were flat year-on-year, up just 0.1 per cent across the country.

“The job market saw some incredible double-digit growth this time last year which is why we’re now seeing the dust settle,” he added. “In the next six months we should see things start to look up for the market once again.”

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