The chronic staff shortage in the dairy industry has dropped from 4000 vacancies to around 2000-2500 in the post-pandemic world. DairyNZ people manager Jane Muir says job market tension is getting close to pre-pandemic levels. Around 600 jobs are being advertised on FarmSource mostly for dairy assistant roles while t some farmers are thinking carefully about whether they can afford an extra staff member as they look to tighten their costs. Jane Muir says farmers are also doing a much better job in trying to make job offers more attractive. She says there is anecdotal evidence that New Zealanders are applying for jobs with the challenging economic times – viewing dairying as an industry where there is stability. A survey revealed good hourly rates followed by consistent Monday-to-Friday work are the biggest attractors. When asked about the early starts in dairying 43% expected to be paid an extra $1-$2000 a year while 55% expected between $5-$10,000 to get out of bed early.