SEEK figures show impact of bushfires on employment market.

February trends.

In Australia the latest SEEK Employment Report has shown an overall decline of job ad volume, at -6.5 per cent year on year to January 2020 and -6.4 per cent year on year to December 2019. However event though year on year volumes are down, SEEK data is showing positive improvements, with month on month job ads up by 1.6 per cent on December 2019.

Community Services & Development leads as the industry with the highest job ad growth in January 2020 and December 2019 up 15.7 per cent and 16.8 per cent year on year respectively.

“Whilst year on year job ads for January 2020 were down, we are seeing positive month on month growth, pointing to a potential improvement in the job market,” said Kendra Banks, managing director, SEEK ANZ.

January marked the second consecutive month of positive month on month job ad growth at 1.6 per cent, backing up the 0.2 per cent rise in December. However, after Australia’s devastating bushfire season, and the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, SEEK expects short term growth to remain challenging as sectors such as Hospitality and Tourism, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Retail and the Higher Education sector remain exposed.

However the Community Services & Development industry continues to make consistent contributions to job ad growth. Since midway through last year, opportunities for job seekers remain available across Aged & Disability Support, Community Development, Management and Child Welfare and Youth & Family Services.

In the states, Western Australia shows higher than average growth in the Community Services & Development industry, up 16 per cent year on year to January 2020. Regions such as Mandurah & Peel, Bunbury & South West, Albany & Great Southern and even further east in Kalgoorlie Goldfields and Esperance are all contributing to job ad growth.

Queensland’s Community Services & Development industry is also strong, up 11 per cent year on year to January. Job opportunities can be found across Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast, to Western Queensland and further north in Mackay & Coalfields.

“Whilst our 2020 January data shows a further decline in job ads for housing related sectors, such as Construction, Trades & Services, Real Estate and Property, we will watch closely to see if this is the bottom of the downward trend, as we have seen signs of hiring activity stabilising in our data,” noted Banks.

This prediction coincides with the Australian Bureau of Statistics latest building approvals, which were up 2.7 per cent year on year to December 2019. There may be further support to underpin residential hiring activity as reconstruction efforts commence in Australia’s bushfire affected regions, and communities begin rebuilding over the course of the year.

The average advertised salary across Australia was up 1.7 per cent compared to last year (y/y to January 2020) at an average of $88,746. Salaries grew across every state and territory, except Northern Territory (down 0.5 per cent y/y to January 2020).

Tasmania leads with a 5.1 per cent growth across the year with an average advertised salary of $79,951, followed by South Australia with 3.8 per cent growth and an average advertised salary of $83,103.

In December, the average advertised salary across Australia was up 2.3 per cent compared to the previous year (y/y to December 2019) at an average of $88,717. Salaries grew across every state and territory, with South Australia coming in at number one in terms of growth, with an average salary of $83,554 (up 6.7 per cent).

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