SEEK Employment Trends Australia: labour market showing gradual improvement as business confidence rises

The latest figures from SEEK indicate continuing confidence in the labour market, with new job ads in March 2014 increasing 1.1% month-on-month. Over the past few months, SEEK’s data has shown a consistent improvement in labour demand, with the number of job ads increasing by 2.1% year-on-year.

“Over the past four years, the Australian labour market has been negatively impacted by the slowdown in the mining sector. During this period we’ve seen the labour market in a state of change. We now feel like the market is starting to find its feet again, our data points to gradual signs of improvement. Compared to March 2010, SEEK new job ads are now 5% higher in New South Wales and 7% higher in Victoria,” says SEEK Managing Director, Joe Powell.

The growth in March 2014 is broadly distributed across the states, with job ads rising in New South Wales, 1.9%; Queensland, 1.2%; Western Australia, 0.8%; and South Australia, 0.7%. Victoria dipped -0.4% month-on-month.

“Employment opportunities are looking promising across all states and territories in Australia, buoyed by low interest rates and a fiscal policy that supports domestic growth,” says Powell. The SEEK Employment Index (SEI), which measures the ratio of new job ads placed with SEEK to the number of applications for those jobs, declined -2.1% for the month of March. The SEI is influenced by changes in new job ads (demand) and the number of applications received (supply). The data in March highlights a strong rise in applications across all the states.

Powell went on to say, “it’s encouraging that candidates are exhibiting confidence in the market through exploring new opportunities and applying for roles. Our data shows that the number of applications per role is strong."

Overall, 2014 has started on a positive note with the economy showing real growth despite the recent news of job losses. Furthermore, it is expected that the May Federal Budget announcement will provide long-awaited clarity on government spending and contracts, which will have a flow-on effect to both hirers and job-seekers.

However, SEEK does warn that there could be a future skills mismatch as job-seekers leave declining sectors, such as the manufacturing industry, and come into the market to find work.

Year-on-year, the industries that have showed the greatest growth in job ad volume are design and architecture (29%), sport and recreation (24%), education and training (22%), and community service and development (20%).

SEEK new job ads

The New Job Ads Index recorded strong growth in almost all major states in March 2014. State-by-state breakdown is:

  • New South Wales, 1.9%.

  • Victoria, -0.3%.

  • South Australia, 0.7%.

  • Queensland, 1.2%.

  • Western Australia, 0.8%.

SEEK Employment Index (SEI)

The SEEK Employment Index fell 2.1% in March 2014. State-by-state breakdown is:

  • New South Wales, -0.8%.

  • Victoria, -2.3%.

  • Queensland, -2%.

  • Western Australia, -4.7%.

  • South Australia, -4.8%.

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SEEK Insights & Resources

SEEK is the destination of choice for job-seekers and hirers in Australia, acting as the conduit between hirers looking to fill vacant roles and candidates looking for work across many and varied industries. SEEK's mission is to help people...

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