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Bay unemployment now lowest in North Island

Bay unemployment now lowest in North Island

WASHINGTON: Unemployment in the Bay of Plenty has dropped sharply, bucking the national trend. The Bay’s unemployment rate is now the lowest in the North Island at 4.9 per cent, after dropping one percentage point in the year to December 2016. Nationally, the rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 5.2 per cent over the same period.

Business and employment experts suggest that not all jobseekers are benefiting, as some job advertisements have prompted a flood of applications from people presumably unable to find work elsewhere. Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec described a “curious situation” in which there was “an oversupply of certain skill sets and a shortage of others”. Electricians, builders and doctors were in demand, but when the chamber advertised for an events co-ordinator recently, it was “absolutely swamped” with applications. “It all depends on how unique your skill set and experience is.”

Matt Groucott of OneStaff said there was demand for tradespeople, truck drivers, heavy machine operators, civil construction workers and unskilled workers. However, some people moving to Tauranga from larger cities and from overseas were struggling to find employment in management, sales, finance and administration. “There can be many reasons for this – salary expectations, limited market in Tauranga for these positions and a lack of movement in existing roles limiting opportunity for anyone new to the area.”