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Credit: Markus Winkler

August 2023: Job ads slip, applications rise

In August 2023, the employment landscape presented a mixed picture.

National job ads saw a modest month-on-month decline of 1.8%, according to the latest report by employment marketplace SEEK. While compared to August 2022, they were down by a significant 20.5%. However, there was a glimmer of positivity as applications per job ad increased by 6.5%, indicating a rise in job seekers’ activity.

Breaking down the job ad changes by state, Western Australia (WA) experienced a minor decrease of 1.3%, while the Northern Territory (NT) saw a slight increase of 0.7%. On the other hand, Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW) faced declines of 1.2% and 3.6%, respectively. Victoria (VIC), South Australia (SA), and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) had more substantial drops of 4.4%, 0.2%, and 0.4%, respectively. Tasmania (TAS) stood out with a substantial decrease of 10.0%.

Comparing August 2023 to the same month the previous year, job ad volumes showed significant declines in several states: New South Wales (NSW) (-23.8%), Queensland (QLD) (-14.7%), Victoria (VIC) (-27.2%), South Australia (SA) (-12.3%), Western Australia (WA) (-12.0%), Tasmania (TAS) (-9.7%), and the Northern Territory (NT) (-19.9%). The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was the only region to experience a positive year-on-year change, with a 2.5% increase.

Examining the top 10 industries by job ad volume, Trades & Services saw a month-on-month decline of 2.6% and a year-on-year decrease of 15.0%. Healthcare & Medical experienced a month-on-month drop of 1.4% and a year-on-year decline of 8.9%. Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics saw a more substantial month-on-month decline of 3.0% and a significant year-on-year decrease of 26.7%. Hospitality & Tourism faced a month-on-month decrease of 3.1% and a sharp year-on-year decline of 40.9%. Education & Training was a bright spot with a 1.7% month-on-month increase, although it still showed a year-on-year decline of 3.3%. Administration & Office Support experienced a minimal month-on-month change (-0.1%) but saw a notable year-on-year decline of 23.4%. Information & Communication Technology (ICT) had a month-on-month decrease of 4.2% and a substantial year-on-year decline of 35.2%. Community Services & Development remained relatively stable with a slight month-on-month change (-0.1%) and a year-on-year decline of 15.2%. Retail & Consumer Products showed a positive month-on-month change of 3.2% but a significant year-on-year decline of 27.1%. Lastly, Accounting had a modest month-on-month increase of 0.4% but still saw a year-on-year decline of 13.0%.

SEEK Managing Director, ANZ Kendra Banks said: “After a slight rise in July, job ads declined 1.8% in August driven by a drop in volumes in New South Wales.

“Victoria and the Northern Territory were the only states to buck the trend, with regional job ad volumes in Victoria driving overall job ads up for the state, particularly those in Retail & Consumer Products. In fact, ads for Retail & Consumer Products roles rose nationally for the second month, as businesses begin preparing for the Christmas season.

“Applications per job ad continue to rise, and after six months of growth, levels are now higher than they were in July 2019, demonstrating that competition for jobs is greater than it was pre-COVID. This increasing activity should be welcome news to hirers, with a greater pool of candidates and heightened competition creating a more balanced jobs market.”

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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