Using the All Vacancies Index (AVI) as main indicator

This paper outlines the reason for adopting the All Vacancy Index (AVI) as the main indicator for the Jobs Online monthly report, instead of the Skilled Vacancy Index (SVI).

Jobs Online shows changes in job vacancies advertised by businesses on three internet job boards – Seek, TradeMe and the Education Gazette. Two main indices are the All Vacancy Index (AVI) and the Skilled Vacancy Index (SVI). These tend to show a similar pattern.

Skilled occupations are those that require a minimum of a level 4 qualification (or equivalent experience) and are classified as professional, manager, or technicians and trades workers. Other occupation groups have not until now featured in the Jobs Online reports.

Both the skilled and the all vacancy indices have been reported over recent years, but further analysis by region, occupation and industry has only used the skilled level data.

The data for Jobs Online commences in May 2007, and the proportion of online advertisements in each occupation group have changed over time.

The Jobs Online monthly report has focussed on skilled vacancies since its inception. At that time, there was evidence that online job advertising had not penetrated the lower-skilled market sufficiently for us to be assured that the online data was representative of the wider job market.

Since then, there have been changes in the nature of the labour market, in New Zealand and elsewhere, that allow consideration of using the all vacancy index. In 2008, the Business Operations Survey (BOS) found that 70 per cent of vacancies were for lower skilled jobs, which only made up 40 per cent of online job ads at the time. Since then, the number of unskilled job vacancies in the BOS had fallen to 54 percent in 2013, while the share of online job ads for lower skilled jobs had risen to 44 per cent.

The professional vacancies advertised online have slipped from 38 per cent of all vacancies in 2008 to 26 percent of all vacancies in 2014, whereas the vacancies for technicians and trade workers has risen from 8 per cent to 14 per cent and the machinery drivers and operators along with labourers vacancies have gone up from a combined 5 per cent to 12 per cent.

Not only will the additional information add value by increasing the scope of the vacancies covered, but we will also gain from the richer picture of changes by industry, occupation and region.