Data from recruitment website SEEK has found a huge upswing in the number of job ads over the last 12 months, but that fears of an impending glut of vacancies lack any real basis.
SEEK recorded a healthy 16.5 per cent rise in the number of job advertisements nationwide in April compared with the same time last year.
It backs up the findings of the My Business SME Sentiment Index which found that SME hiring intentions have increased compared with 2017.
A big part of the spike was thanks to a resurgence in the mining sector, where jobs increased by a massive 62 per cent.
Community services and development also saw a significant increase, up 49 per cent on a year ago. Other big rises were in the consulting and strategy sector (up 46 per cent), trades and services (an increase of 41 per cent) and HR and recruitment (rising 38 per cent).
At the other end of the spectrum, the lowest rates of growth — while all still in positive territory — were real estate and property (up 6 per cent), the arts, advertising and media sector (a 7 per cent rise) and call centre and customer support with an 8 per cent increase.
In a pleasing sign for the national economy, growth in job advertisements was uniform across the country, with every state and territory recording a rise over the year. Tasmania led the charge, with job vacancies up by more than a third (35 per cent). The lowest increase was in the ACT, which notched up an 8.3 per cent rise.
Yet employer concerns that rising job ads will lead to a glut of unfilled vacancies appear to be baseless, with the growth in job numbers being absorbed by an expanding number of Australians in the workforce.
New data from the ABS delivered a new record in the labour force participation rate, hitting 65.7 per cent in April.
“The labour force participation rate was the highest it has been since the series began in 1978, indicating increasing attachment to the labour force,” the Bureau’s chief economist, Bruce Hockman, said.
It comes after the participation rate hit a nearly seven-year high in December 2017.
Nevertheless, SME operators should be alert to a trend in workers leaving smaller firms in favour of large corporations, as had become apparent in the years since 2009.