Jobs Online Background and Methodology - December 2009
Information on job vacancies is a key indicator of changes in labour market demand that complements other labour market indicators. By using advertised job vacancies to proxy the number of job openings, we are able to tap into an enormous administrative dataset without imposing major collection costs or adding to survey respondent burden.
Another feature of an administrative dataset is that it is extremely timely. The data is available for processing within a few days of the end of the reference period, providing an early indicator of turning points in the labour market.
Jobs Online draws on data from all newly listed job ads from the SEEK, Trade Me Jobs and heraldjobs.co.nz job boards. The series begins in May 2007, which is when data from both SEEK and Trade Me Jobs became available. Data from heraldjobs.co.nz has become available more recently. Because Jobs Online focuses on reporting change in job advertising rather than the overall level of job ads, we are able to blend new data sources together without creating large jumps in the series. The dataset currently includes over 20,000 unique new job ads each month.
The key outputs from Jobs Online focus on job ads for skilled vacancies (the Skilled Vacancies Index (SVI)). A comparison of online job ads with information on the total number of job openings (drawn from Statistics New Zealand's Business Operations Survey) indicates that, in 2008, online job ads in Jobs Online accounted for around one-third of total vacancies. However, when we looked at vacancies of skilled occupations this proportion increased to around 70%. This gives us confidence that Jobs Online is highly representative of real job openings for skilled vacancies. Thus, nearly all of the indices presented in this report and our regular monthly report focus on skilled vacancies.
For some comparisons, such as with the index of online job ads in Australia, we have used an index of all online vacancies. We will continue to monitor the relationship between all job ads and overall changes in labour demand to see if greater use can be made of this indicator.
Jobs Online adds value to the base data by coding all vacancies to an occupational standard (4-digit ANZSCO) that enables direct comparison with other labour market statistics. This is done via an auto-coder that the Department has developed. This auto-coder is also used by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) in Australia, who produce a similar report.
Detailed tables of Jobs Online data are available from the Department of Labour website.
Outline of the report structure
This report has three sections:
- Definitions and methodology. This section outlines the terms processes and methods used in Jobs Online.
- Key breakdowns for the SVI. This section shows the key breakdowns of the SVI into occupational, regional and industry groups over the full length of the time series available, and a comparison with Australia.
- Comparisons with other labour market indicators. This section shows how the SVI compares to other indicators of labour market performance, and presents statistical measures of the robustness of these relationships.
 Defined as skill levels 1-3 in the Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations