Automotive

After the lockdown, employment opportunities are rapidly returning to Manawati.

The CEC's August employment report shows the third-largest drop in Manawat's lists during the latest lockdown, with a 15 percent drop from July to August.

Warwick Smith / Equipment.

The CEC’s August employment report shows the third-largest drop in Manawat’s lists during the latest lockdown, with a 15 percent drop from July to August.

The number of job opportunities in Manawati has hit the brick wall with the latest lockdown, but the demand for workers is so high that an early recovery is expected.

The SEC’s August employment report shows that Manawatu has the third-largest decline in job listings during the latest lockdown, with a 15 percent drop from July to August.

Matt Grocott, regional manager of the recruitment agency Unstaff, said that while it was technically possible to continue hiring from home, most employers were suspended until they knew how long the lockdown would last.

However, for the first time since Manawati dropped Alert Level 4, when companies resumed recruitment cautiously and slowly, Grocott expected the job market to resume.

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“This time, people have already gone through it … so there is very little uncertainty and business is going on,” Grocott said.

The same factors that led to the previous increase in job listings were still present.

Application rates have been declining since the first lockdown last March, and Gracott was at its lowest level in a decade.

The epidemic has shut down a significant portion of the normal labor market, since boards were shut down and people were less likely to move around the country.

Unemployment in Manawati was about 44% lower, he said, so most people who wanted one and specialized in demand already had a job.

Rob Clarke, manager of Second New Zealand, said the lockdown had a “rapid and dramatic effect”, with 20 per cent fewer jobs listed than in the week before the warning level 4.

“[But] If we compare the three weeks after August 18 with the first three weeks of epidemics in 2020, the difference is quite encouraging.

In 2020, job ads fell 73 percent in those early weeks, but this time it was only around 25 percent.

And despite a two-week complete lockdown, Manawati still has 10 percent more jobs available than last August, and 57 percent more jobs nationwide.

The most flexible sector in Manawati is manufacturing, transport and logistics.

Of the 663 Manavati lists searched on Monday, 102 were in the sector.

Bernard Walsh, booth’s general manager of transport, said this was possible because the transport and logistics sectors were essential services, and so were most of the booth’s customers.

He said the booth was constantly recruiting, and usually several job advertisements came at a particular time.

“Demand for this specialty has grown significantly as a result of recent corporate scandals.

“[So] We have the same number of drivers trying to carry more freight, and we were already struggling to find enough drivers in 2019.

Walsh said this has been a long-term problem for the industry, compounded by uncertainty surrounding epidemics and competition from some job seekers.

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