Job ads slow while employment rates increase in July

Jobs ads on SEEK were up by 8.7% in July and salary growth was experienced across almost every industry. Find out which industry led the way in this month’s employment snapshot.

Market trends 

Australia recorded a modest 0.2% decline in advertised jobs since last month, adding to the slowing of job ads over the past 12 months. Nevertheless, overall job ads remain 8.7% higher than a year earlier, indicative of solid overall labour demand.

Kendra Banks, SEEK Managing Director ANZ says the new financial year has brought strong employment opportunities with it.

“Even though July’s national figure of 8.7% is lower than the average year-on-year growth rate for FY18 of 13.7%, SEEK data shows strong double-digit results across the top 20 sectors. This suggests continuous growth over the coming months, creating a positive outlook for job creation across the nation.”

In July the official unemployment rate edged lower to 5.3%, from 5.4% in June. The tightening in the labour market is broadly aligned with the trend seen in the SEEK job ads data in prior months.

Industry trends

Across Australia, the industries with the greatest growth in employment opportunities were Mining, Resources & Energy (for the 12th month in a row), and Farming, Animals & Conservation – both saw a 37% increase in job opportunities in July 2018 compared to July 2017. Closely following was Government & Defence, where job ads were up 36% year-on-year.

Not surprisingly, Western Australia and Queensland continue to drive job growth in the Mining, Resources & Energy industry, although the industry’s job ads also recorded the strongest industry growth in both New South Wales (up 36% year-on-year) and Victoria (up 39% year-on-year).

Oil and gas exploration (and exploration more generally) have also been strong this year, alongside sustained higher commodity prices. In part, the strong recovery reflects the very low levels to which mining job ads fell – ads are not back anywhere near previous boom peaks but are likely to continue rising given recent announcements of new mining projects.

Some of Australia’s biggest employing industries also recorded strong growth in July. Job ads in the Healthcare & Medical sector grew 18 per cent year-on-year, while job ads in the Trades & Services and Information & Communication Technology sectors both grew by 17%.  These three sectors were the biggest contributors to overall national job ad growth, and account for 29.2% of all available opportunities in Australia.

Four industries experienced a year-on-year decline in job ad growth in July, with Advertising, Arts & Media experiencing the greatest decline of -8%.

Trends across the country

Job ads rose in most states and territories this month, led by a strong rebound in Tasmania of 11.8% month-on-month.

Job ads also increased in New South Wales (up 0.7%), Victoria (up 1.4%), South Australia (up 0.4%), Western Australia (up 3.3%) and the Australian Capital Territory (up 3.7%), while modest declines were recorded in Queensland (down 0.2%) and the Northern Territory (down 0.8%).

The following map outlines the job ad growth experienced across every region compared to 12 months ago:

Salary trends

Average advertised salaries rose again in July, recording a third consecutive month of year-on-year growth. Advertised salaries grew nationally by 4.1%, with Western Australia and the Northern Territory recording the highest growth of 7.6% and 5% respectively. Western Australian also recorded the highest average annual salary of $89,468.

A majority of industries are experiencing an increase in average advertised salaries, with strong growth in recent months being recorded in Mining, Resources & Energy (highest year-on-year salary growth for July at 13.2%); Human Resources & Recruitment (up 5.9%); Trades & Services (up 5.9%); Legal (up 5.5%); Healthcare & Medical (up 4.9%); Accounting (up 3.8%) and Advertising Arts and Media (up 3%).

Hospitality & Tourism is the only industry to record a decline year-on-year of 0.2%.

Regional spotlight: Tasmanian Tiger

In July, Tasmania reported job ad growth of 26.8% year-on-year, three times that of Australia which grew by 8.7% in the same time period.

A number of factors have seen the state take on a new lease of life, including Tasmania’s recent tourism and hospitality boom, supported by key attractions such as the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), an improvement in traditional industries such as the dairy industry and more recently, population growth driven by overseas and interstate migration.

Learn more: Tasmanian job ad growth outperforms mainland

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