Milestone month in Aussie job recovery

 

Nearly a year on from the beginning of Australia's battle with COVID-19, February has proven to be a milestone month in the country's job recovery.

According to SEEK's February Employment Report, all states and territories reported year-on-year job ad growth, the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

This follows the latest unemployment figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in which the unemployment rate dropped to a new low of 6.4 per cent in January, showing a decrease of 0.2 per cent. The employment to population ratio also increased to 61.9 per cent, with the employment figure rising to 12,939,900.

"It is close to 12 months since COVID-19 severely impacted the employment market, and we are pleased to observe continued improvement with the healthiest year-on-year job ad growth since the pandemic began," said SEEK ANZ's Managing Director Kendra Banks.

Previously, New South Wales and the ACT were the only two districts yet to return to pre-COVID levels, however they both surpassed their year-on-year figures last month. When it came to Australia as a whole, national job figures reported year-on-year growth of 12.4 per cent and month-on-month growth of 4.1 per cent.

For the first time since the pandemic began, all states and territories are recording pre-COVID job ad figures. Picture: SEEK.
For the first time since the pandemic began, all states and territories are recording pre-COVID job ad figures. Picture: SEEK.

IMPACT OF THE LOCKDOWNS

Although the overall growth in job ads was pleasing, the impact of state lockdowns was reflected in the overall numbers.

Data from the employment marketplace showed clear dips during snap lockdowns in WA and Victoria, however job ad activity also returned once restrictions were lifted. These abrupt changes, however, will still be "a factor in 2021," said Ms Banks.

"Looking at the weekly job ad numbers, lockdowns have a noticeable impact on job ad postings - however, recruitment activity recovers once restrictions lift.

"Victoria had positive monthly job ad growth, WA's month-on-month job ad number was slightly lower in February 2021 than January (and) this can most likely be attributed to the short lockdown period."

Although snap lockdowns in WA and Victoria did affect job ads, volumes did recover once restrictions were lifted. Picture: SEEK.
Although snap lockdowns in WA and Victoria did affect job ads, volumes did recover once restrictions were lifted. Picture: SEEK.

INDUSTRIES LEADING THE WAY

Looking at which industries are leading Australia's job ad recovery, there are three key in-demand industries which saw exponential listing growth between February 2020 and February 2021. These included:

Trades and services which grew 50.1 per cent year-on-year: Positions include automotive trades, labourers, electricians, technicians and hair and beauty services.

Hospitality and tourism which grew 47.9 per cent year-on-year: Positions include chefs, cooks, waiting, bar and beverage staff, front office and guest services.

Healthcare and medical which grew 20.7 per cent year-on-year: Positions include physiotherapy, rehabilitation, aged care nursing, dental, psychology, counselling, social work and general and surgical nursing.

Nursing roles in particular have been in high-demand despite COVID-19's impact on the jobs market. Picture: iStock.
Nursing roles in particular have been in high-demand despite COVID-19's impact on the jobs market. Picture: iStock.

In terms of sectors (which covers a large group of the economy, versus an industry which is more specific), the professional services sector is the only sector showing a year-on-year decline of 10.1 per cent.

Ms Banks said this could be because the roles within the sector, like positions in legal services, consulting, advertising and accounting, are more "office-based corporate roles that are based in a CBD," and more affected by lockdowns.

Other sectors including construction, industrial, consumer services and public sector roles all reported year-on-year growth between 17.6 per cent and 29.1 per cent.

"Professional Services is the only sector to still be showing a year-on-year decline, however, 10.1 per cent is the smallest gap we have seen and is being more than made up for by the other sectors," said Ms Banks.

This article was created in sponsorship with SEEK

Originally published as Milestone month in Aussie job recovery


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