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Finding a job is now twice as competitive, new study finds

A new study has shown that finding a job in Australia is twice as competitive as the beginning of the year, despite the job market improving. 

With the unemployment rate being the highest it has been since 1998, many Australians now find themselves searching for work. The study by LinkedIn shows that while the job market is slowly beginning to open up and assist in lowering the employment rate, competition for job-seekers has reached new heights.

Matt Tindale, LinkedIn Australia and New Zealand’s Country Manager says that the market is gradually improving: “As of the end of July, hiring had recovered from the lows of below -40% year-over-year to current levels of about -10% year-over-year.” 

However, with the unemployment rate still sitting at 7.2% while there is an absence of available jobs, the job market is exceedingly competitive. Competition for jobs has nearly doubled compared to the beginning of 2020, increasing from around 20 applications per job to current levels of almost 40 applications per job.

Related: “Updated: Massive economic stimulus to fight virus”

Australian job seekers are also now more likely to apply for jobs in a different industry, the study finds. Mr Tindale says that as the economy begins to recover it is “important to consider a broader set of job options”

Compared to pre-COVID, job seekers in industries that were badly hit, such as Recreation and Entertainment are now significantly more likely to consider a career change, and apply for jobs outside of their current industry. 

Graph detailing the likelihood of Australians changing industries
Credit: LinkedIn

Mr Tindale says that the number of people who have lost their jobs has been “unprecedented” and it will be a while before we see the job market return to normality. 

“As risks of second-wave of infections emerge, some states have begun lockdown again. Given all this uncertainty, we expect recovery to be either flat or gradually declining in the coming weeks,” he says. “It will likely take some time before we get back to the levels of growth and strength we saw before the pandemic hit.”

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Ellie Dudley

Ellie Dudley

Ellie Dudley is a journalist at Dynamic Business with a background in the startup space and current affairs reporting. She has a specific interest in foreign investment and the Australian economy.

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