SEEK jobs ads show incredibly tight labour market

SEEK has released its June Employment Report, which shows that applications per job ad continue to track near historical lows:

STATE OF THE NATION: HIGH JOB AD VOLUMES CONTINUE WITH APPLICATIONS PER JOB AD STILL LOW

The latest SEEK Employment Report shows job ad levels remain high with a 23.7% increase when compared to June 2019. Month-on-month job ad numbers declined slightly.

Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ, comments: “The last month of the financial year saw SEEK job ad numbers remain strong, despite a small month-on-month decline of 1.3%. Job ads are 23.7% higher than they were in the same month two years ago. It is difficult to make comparisons to regular monthly trends, however June is traditionally a slightly quieter posting month as it is the end of the financial year. Many businesses hold off advertising new roles until July, when budgets are handed down and priorities for the coming financial year are set.”

Nearly all industries have shown significant job ad growth, often greater than pre-COVID levels – but applications per job ad remain subdued.

This fall in job applications is not limited to one industry or state or territory. There are staffing challenges in nearly every sector, with applications per job ad down in 25 of the 28 industries SEEK monitors.

Kendra Banks continues: “For the first time since the height of the pandemic we have seen the number of applications per job ad increase by 6.1% month-on-month. However, application numbers per job ad are still close to the lowest that they have been since 2012.

“In the last few months, we have had between 39 and 42 million visits to our website per month. That tells us that Australians are still viewing job ads, but jobseekers are simply not applying at the same rates as they were pre-COVID 19.

“Since the pandemic began, the number of candidates who view a job ad on seek.com.au and then go on to apply for a role has fallen by 10%. We know candidates are being more cautious about moving jobs, as our research shows that two in three say that job security has become more important to them during the pandemic. In addition, 40% remain concerned about their job security, and 31% have held back from changing jobs.

“In the past 12 months, applications per job ad have also been reducing across all salary bands. The sharpest declines have been in lower salary bands, particularly for face-to-face roles under $70,000 a year in categories hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions. Applications for these roles are now lower than pre-pandemic levels”…

“Despite most of the country experiencing a decline in month-on-month job ad numbers, all states and territories have had double-digit growth compared to June 2019…

“Throughout the pandemic, Professional Services has been the slowest sector to recover. This sector is mostly made up of office-based CBD roles…

“All sectors have shown growth between 37% – 42% when comparing last month with the same month two years ago, whereas Professional Services has only increased by 1%…

It is only a matter of time before the labour market tightness translates into wage growth.

Unconventional Economist
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