SEEK Employment Trends: encouraging results for the employment market suggest good things to come



October delivered positive results for the employment market with a year-on-year increase in SEEK job ads and encouraging signs of growth for South Australia and Queensland. Experts are also seeing more new roles created within the market, which suggests positive times ahead.


The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows job ads rose by 3.9% year-on-year in October. Michael Ilczynski, Managing Director for SEEK Employment, says it’s also encouraging to see growth in the semi-mining states of South Australia and Queensland. “South Australia in particular is experiencing considerable strength in job ads,” he says. “It recorded an annual growth of 13.8% in trend terms.”

Industries on the rise


Consulting and strategy roles were out in front in October with a year-on-year increase of 26% and the average advertised salary was $113,371. David George, Managing Director of recruitment firm Michael Page Australia, says many roles within consulting and strategy are on a contract basis and this provides desirable flexibility for both employers and candidates. “There’s a lot of project work in the market right now,” he explains. “Many companies are looking beyond fixed and permanent roles because contract roles give them the flexibility to bring in the talent they need when they need it. It also works well for candidates with niche skills. They have the ability to move around and the market is currently strong enough for them to do that.”

Engineering roles also experienced a year-on-year increase in job ads in October. They rose by 17% and the average advertised salary was $104,356. The construction industry also grew by 13% and the average advertised salary was $106,784. “Construction is particularly strong in NSW and Victoria,” says Mark Smith, Managing Director of recruitment firm People 2 People. “This is also creating a flow-on effect to other industries like trades,” he says.

The trades and services industry may well be benefiting from strength in construction. Job ads were up by 2% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $63,259. Meanwhile, government and defence roles increased by 17% compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $90,731. “The public sector is proving to be more attractive for candidates than it once was, mainly due to benefits such as work-life balance, and employers in the private sector may need to consider how they can compete,” says George.

In another indication of a healthy market, job ads for human resources and recruitment grew by 2% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $86,171. “When the market is in good shape, it makes sense that demand for HR and recruitment is up,” explains George. “You just don’t hire more HR and recruitment people in bad times.”

Accounting slips but experts remain positive


SEEK job ads for the accounting industry declined by 6% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $83,669. George says that despite this result, the market for accounting feels strong. “We’ve had double digit growth and there is a particular demand for CFO and financial controller roles, which is a sign of a good market,” he says.

Smith notes demand for accountants in NSW and Victoria remains positive. “Audit and analyst roles are in good demand right now,” he says.

Job ads for the sales industry slipped by 12% year-on-year in October and the average advertised salary was $81,891. Education and training also experienced a decline of 11% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $80,599. Job ads for advertising, arts and media roles were also down by 12% over the same period and the average advertised salary was $77,204. Meanwhile, the banking and financial services industry also saw a year-on-year decline of 12% and the average advertised salary was $87,525. “The banks are trying to be more cost effective,” says George. “In many instances, they are living without middle management roles and some transactional roles are being sent offshore.”

Trends across the states


Job ads in Victoria and NSW have been strong relative to the past five years and have been experiencing an upward trend over the past four months. The ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania have been experiencing similar trends.

In Queensland, while job ads in Brisbane remain slow, tourist regions such as the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have recorded the strongest trends for the state.

Meanwhile, the mining-rich state of Western Australia recorded low levels of advertising relative to the past five years and has experienced a downward trend over the past four months. “The market in WA is far from strong, however we think it has bottomed out and expect to see some growth ahead,” says George.

Will the final months of 2016 bring positive results for WA and which industries will be out in front? We’ll be watching how the market moves right across the country.
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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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