The number of job vacancies advertised online continued to grow in June, according to the latest Jobs Online index.

Overall, online vacancies increased by 2.3% in June 2011, compared to May 2011, and skilled vacancies went up by 1.5%.

“This shows that employment prospects are continuing to improve,” says the Department of Labour’s Head of Research and Analysis, Vasantha Krishnan.

“This is supportive of other indicators that point to a gradual increase in economic activity. It reinforces the Department’s expectation that employment will grow in 2012 and 2013, bringing down the unemployment rate.”

The Jobs Online index shows that the strongest growth in skilled vacancies was happening outside the main centres. Skilled job vacancies grew by 12.0% in the South Island (excluding Canterbury) and by 7.3% in the North Island (excluding Auckland and Wellington).

Industries with the biggest growth in skilled vacancies across the country were accounting, HR, legal and administration (up by 9.0%) and hospitality and tourism (up by 8.5%).

Overall, the number of skilled vacancies in the month of June was 17.1% higher than a year ago, while the total of all vacancies was 18.2% higher.