After a tumultuous year punctuated by a global pandemic and Australia’s first recession in almost 30 years, our job recovery has reached yet another milestone.
New data from SEEK showed March 2021 reported the highest number of job ads posted in SEEK Australia’s 23-year history, with a national 75.1 per cent increase in year-on-year job ads between March 2020 and 2021.
Looking at the result, Managing Director of SEEK ANZ, Kendra Banks called it a testament to the “hard work and resilience” of Australian employers over the past year.
“What a difference a year makes. In mid-March 2020, we saw COVID have a swift and extreme impact on the labour market – 12 months on and we have seen the highest number of job ads posted on SEEK in a month than at any time in our more than 23-year history,” she said.
“As we contrast the current labour market conditions to 12 months ago, the change is nothing short of remarkable.”
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Although the dramatically improved job listings were a positive sign, Ms Banks said it was important to note that many of the roles currently advertised were those “displaced” during the pandemic.
Breaking another record, however, the growth in job ads saw the applications per ad reach the lowest level since 2012. Ms Banks attributed this to several reasons including a reduced labour supply, with more jobs for workers to choose from and workers “displaying a more cautious approach to career moves following a turbulent year”.
Australia’s impressive bounce back in job listings has also coincided with a further reduction in the country’s unemployment rate. According to March Labour Force statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, our unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 per cent to 5.6 per cent. The underemployment rate (which measures employed people who want to work more hours) also dropped to 7.9 per cent, from 8.5 per cent.
State of the states
Although the ACT reported a very slight month-on-month decrease of 0.1 per cent, Ms Banks said the territory was close to recording the highest level of ad listings ever. A similar trend was observed by the other states and territories.
“In March, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all recorded the highest level of ad listings ever observed in their states,” she said.
“The ACT, Queensland and Victoria are close to their highest ever levels, whereas Western Australia’s job ad volumes are nearly equalling that of the 2012 mining boom.”
An increase in job ads in the hospitality and tourism industry was another factor instrumental in bolstering these figures. Despite Brisbane undergoing a three-day lockdown which ended on April 1, the easing of restrictions in Sydney and Melbourne saw a huge uptick in listings.
“There was an easing of restrictions in some major capitals meaning that customer numbers could be increased,” she said. “Incentives were introduced like discounting flights and accommodation as well as businesses preparing for the Easter holidays.”
Other industries that contributed to March’s job month growth include trades and services – which reported an increase of 9.1 per cent month-on-month – and healthcare and medical, which grew by 8.6 per cent in the same period.
This article was created in sponsorship with SEEK