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Job vacancies on the rise as employers face staff shortages

Image credit: Scott Blake

Job vacancies on the rise as employers face staff shortages

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that job vacancies in Australia increased by 14 per cent between November 2020 and February 2021.

The new numbers reveal that job vacancies were 27 per cent higher than in February 2020, just before the pandemic started.

Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said the rise in job vacancies “reflected the pace of recovery in labour demand” as well as labour shortages in some industries over the second half of 2020 and early 2021.

“There were 289,000 job vacancies in February 2021, 61,000 more than a year earlier,” Mr Jarvis said.

“When we asked businesses experiencing labour shortages the reasons for this, more than usual noted difficulty in filling vacancies for lower paid jobs.

“This was most commonly reported to us by businesses in the Accommodation and food services industry. 31 per cent of businesses in that industry reported vacancies in February 2021, more than double last February (15 per cent).”

Private job sector vacancies jumped by 14 per cent over the February quarter and were 29 per cent higher than in February 2020.

In comparison, public sector job vacancies rose by 11 per cent in February this year – a total increase of 13 per cent from the same time last year.

All states and territories experienced quarterly increases in job vacancies. Victoria joined in for the first time since the pandemic began, with more vacancies than a year ago.

The largest increases in job vacancies over the year were in the Accommodation and food services (88 per cent), Construction (60 per cent), and Other services industries (44 per cent).

Related: Australian small business revenue rises above pre-pandemic average as jobs recover

In February, the ABS published the results of their Business Conditions and Sentiments survey, which showed that 13 per cent of employers reported staff shortages as a factor that impacted their business significantly.

The full ABS quarterly Job Vacancies Survey results are available here.

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Dahlia Jovic

Dahlia Jovic

Dahlia is a Junior Editor and Journalist at Dynamic Business. She is an Honours student in Media and Communications at the University of Sydney with a specialisation in Digital Cultures. Her areas of interest include business, technology, entertainment and videography.

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