Labour shortages across the country have led to fierce competition among employers looking for staff.
Trade Me data shows there were more than 80,000 vacancies listed for the quarter ending June 30, 2021.
Trade Me Jobs sales director Matt Tolich described it as a job hunter's market, with employers paying more to attract staff from their competitors.
"With application numbers down and more listings for job hunters to choose from, in Q2 we saw the largest annual percentage increase in average pay that we have seen in more than 10 years," Tolich said.
"When compared with the same quarter last year, the average pay increased by 3 per cent, to $64,939. The last time we saw an annual increase this large was in Q1, 2011."
"It really is the perfect storm, and job seekers are well and truly in the driver's seat. It's a great time to be looking for a new role."
The challenge, however, is convincing workers to leave their current roles to take on new positions.
While nationwide job listings on Trade Me increased by 25 per cent in the second quarter of 2021 when compared to the same period in 2019, applications are failing to keep up with the demand.
"In Q2, we saw a 29 per cent drop in the number of applications for jobs when compared with the first quarter of the year," Tolich said.
"We're still seeing a massive candidate shortage in the market with the absence of migrant workers.
"The fact is, right now there are not enough people in New Zealand to fulfil demand in a large number of job categories and this is constraining the ability of Kiwi business to grow."
Adding further pressure is the fact that Kiwis are sticking to their current roles, amid the continued global uncertainty.
"Kiwis appear to be sticking it out in their current roles until our borders are open, and the world begins to return to normal.
"We know that job security is highly important to employees at the moment. In a recent survey we conducted with 1,400 Kiwis, just 17 per cent said they were looking to move roles in the next 12 months. That's down from 27 per cent in 2020."
The sectors most desperate for staff at the moment are hospitality and tourism, which saw a 56 per cent increase in listing between 2021 and 2019.
This was followed by manufacturing and operations (52 per cent), construction & roading (46 per cent) sectors, transport and logistics (40 per cent), and trades and services (37 per cent).
In terms of pay growth, the IT sector offers some of the best opportunities.
"As we have seen consistently over the previous year, IT roles are still paid the most," Tolich said, pointing out that IT architects earn the most of any role at $162,206 on average.
He said the growth in IT salaries comes down to companies bolstering their tech approach to keep up with competitors and protect their businesses in a post-Covid world.
Online job listings have surged as employers scramble to find workers. (Photo / Getty Images)
"On top of this, closed borders are putting pressure on the sector by preventing new talent from entering the country to meet the sector's growing needs."
Tolich said the biggest pay growth in wages in the second quarter when compared with the same period in 2019 was seen in the retail and tourism & hospitality sectors which both saw the average wage increase 12 per cent to $53,071 and $52,960 respectively.
The minimum wage increased from $18.90 per hour to $20 per hour in April this year, off the back of an earlier increase from $17.70 at the end of 2019.
The growth in wages based just on the minimum wage during the overall period accounts for a 12 per cent increase.
The data also broke down the highest wages by region, with Wellington City coming out on top with an average salary of $76,102.
This was followed by Auckland City's average pay of $74,282.
With the borders set to remain closed for the foreseeable future, the pressure on the labour market will continue. The only question now is how many workers will switch allegiances in the coming months.