SEEK finds job ads growth slows

Small Growth

Data from SEEK says new job ads nationally grew 5.4 per cent in August compared to this time last year. This figure is the lowest year on year growth in national SEEK job ads since March 2017.

For the 13th consecutive month, Mining, Resources & Energy sector saw the greatest job ad growth across Australia growing 29 per cent in August 2018 compared to August 2017. Australia’s largest employing industries across the country demonstrated double digit growth in job ads for the year to August, including Healthcare & Medical (12 per cent), Hospitality & Tourism (12 per cent), Trades & Services (10 per cent) and Community Services & Development (10 per cent).

“Despite growth slowing in recent months, national job ads remain 5.4 per cent higher than the previous year,” said Kendra Banks, managing director ANZ, “So, although it is the weakest growth we’ve seen since March last year, it is indicative of a solid overall demand for labour. We are still seeing jobs growth well above the national average in some of our biggest employing sectors, pointing to a healthy and stable job market for Australia’s crucial industries.”

SEEK’s study has also focussed on the demand for nursing staff. As reported by the ABS, the Healthcare & Medical and Social Assistance sector is Australia’s largest employer, currently accounting for 13 per cent of the total Australian workforce. The sector reached this milestone in 2010 when it surpassed the Retail sector and has continued to expand steadily ever since. SEEK data reflects this growth with Healthcare & Medical job ads recording 12 per cent YoY growth in August 2018 compared to 2017. The top performing states for job ad growth in the sector this month were Tasmania (30 per cent), South Australia (24 per cent) and New South Wales, the sector’s biggest employer (21 per cent).

Nursing roles, which comprise 22 per cent of the Healthcare & Medical labour market, have been the biggest contributor to this sector’s growth in recent months. The Aged Care sector is driving the growth in nursing roles, with particularly high growth in Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia – states, which are recognised for having an aging population greater than the national average.
With the increased demand for healthcare services because of Australia’s growing and aging population, the Department of Health suggests Australia is approaching a ‘nursing shortage’ crisis of about 85,000 nurses by 2025, growing to 123,000 nurses by 2030. However, SEEK data shows national nursing candidate availability has experienced steady growth in the last 12 months, outstripping national demand. This points to a greater supply of candidates in the market vying for positions and meaning it is getting easier to find nursing staff this year across the country.
Concern regarding the shortage of nurses also appears to be in contrast with the current nursing education environment. Domestic student enrolment in nursing courses has been strong, with an average yearly increase of 6% between 2010 and 2016, according to the Australian Department of Education and Training. This figure has increased to become on par with students enrolling in traditionally high-demand courses, such as ICT.

Dr Cathy Dickson, Program Director of Nursing and Health Science at Western Sydney University Online, said: “We are experiencing high demand for our online nursing course, reflecting the increase in domestic enrolments nationally. Many of our students are juggling busy family lives with part-time work. By providing access to flexible, high-quality education online we are enabling more people to realise their ambition of joining the nursing profession and helping to address the nursing shortage.”

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