Wellington’s job listings have plummeted and applications are up, with one recruitment firm attributing a huge increase in applications to public sector job cuts.

Robert Walters has reported a 112% surge in job applications following the public sector cuts in the city.

Chief executive Shay Peters said the job market was being hit on two fronts; first, the global macro-economic situation was causing a number of countries to see a downturn, but “coupled with that, obviously we have a new government with a very different mandate than the previous one”.

The streamlining of the public sector was a significant contributor to the state of the labour market, he said, and the private sector was looking “slightly more buoyant than the public sector at the moment”.

According to the latest data from employment marketplace Seek, job ads dropped nationally by 4% in April, and were now 30% lower than this time last year.

Wellington had the biggest drop, a decrease of 44% on 2023 numbers.

Applications per ad rose 5% nationally, and were now 96% higher than this time last year.

It made for a difficult environment to be job hunting in and Peters recommended staying put if possible, with the risk of “last one on, first one off” for anyone switching employers.

“The labour market in Wellington is definitely depressed at the moment,” he said.

“We are seeing across the board a significant number of redundancies playing through the system, and I think that there will be more to come as organisations finish off going through their consultation periods.”

He said they were seeing a lot of people begin looking for work overseas.

The Seek data shows ads for jobs in hospitality and tourism took the biggest dive, a 21% drop on last year.

However, job ads in insurance and superannuation were up, the industry having the biggest increase at 17%, followed by advertising, arts and media, with a 15% increase on last year.

When it came to applications per job, industries such as manufacturing, transport and logistics, retail and consumer products and community services and development, applications per jobs had more than doubled over the past year.