SEEK Employment Trends Australia: new job ads remain level as economic indicators stabilise
New job ad volumes remained relatively stable in July, according to SEEK data, dipping just 1.1%, as business and consumer confidence figures stabilised following post-Federal Budget declines.
Consumer confidence continued to improve in July from the 6.6% post-budget slump in May, while business confidence also gained ground with a one point improvement from June to July 2014, according to the NAB Business Confidence Survey, July 2014.
“Following the positive momentum in 2013, we’ve seen dips in consumer and business confidence in the wake of the 2014–15 Federal Budget announcement in May. This has translated into more modest monthly changes to new job ad volumes, with the past two months being relatively flat,” says SEEK Managing Director, Joe Powell.
At a state level, Powell says that the past year has seen a widening spread of new job ads across the five mainland states. “Between July 2013 and July 2014, new job ad growth in New South Wales and Victoria saw increases of 11.2% and 9.8% respectively, buoyed by low interest rates and a strong demand for labour across the construction and real estate sectors.
“In contrast, Western Australia has been heavily affected by the slowing of the resource sector and lower prices for resource commodities, experiencing only a 2.7% increase in the number of new job ads in the same period,” says Powell.
While Western Australia remains significantly behind the other states in terms of year-on-year new job ad growth, it was the only state to experience a modest increase in new job ads (0.7%) in July.
“It’s possible this uptick for Western Australia over the past month is attributed to industry leaders, like Chevron Australia, strengthening their workforces on key projects, such as Wheatstone and Gorgon, which has seen engineering and maintenance roles in the oil and gas sector increase by 34% from June to July 2014,” says Powell.
The SEEK Employment Index, which measures the ratio of new job ads placed with SEEK to the number of applications for those jobs, rose by 0.1% in July, as applications for the new jobs fell in line with the number of ads.
“With the volume of new job ads is clearly outperforming those seen in 2013, the SEEK Employment Index shows that candidates remain confident in the employment market.
“Hirers will continue to benefit from the improvement in business confidence, as more quality candidates consider their career options,” concludes Powell.