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Latest SEEK data paints grim picture of job market

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
09 April 2020 2 minute readShare
job market

The latest jobs data from SEEK has painted a very grim picture of the current job market which has been heavily rocked by the coronavirus crisis since about mid-March.

According to the job ads website, new job ads posted on SEEK plunged by 65.3 per cent in the first week of April compared to the same week last year, with all sectors suffering a decline.

New South Wales and Victoria were hit hardest, with declines of 67.4 per cent and 71.6 per cent, respectively.

SEEK data showed that while job ads fell steadily in the first two weeks of March, by an average of just under 15 per cent, the drop intensified to 41.3 per cent in the week ended 22 March, and again to 64.6 per cent a week later.  

The worst-hit industries were sport and recreation with a 97.7 per cent drop in job ads, followed closely by advertising, arts and media (-86.5 per cent), administration and office support (-85.1 per cent), and hospitality and tourism (-84.2 per cent).

Recognising the swift and extreme impacts of the coronavirus on the labour market, Kendra Banks, managing director, SEEK ANZ, explained that there are currently two distinct changes occurring in Australia’s labour market.

“Unsurprisingly and unfortunately, there is a mass reduction in the number of jobs available at a national level, while simultaneously there is an urgent demand for workers in specific industries,” Ms Banks said.

Among those increasing their workforces are organisations servicing the essential retail sector, and aspects of the healthcare sector have an urgent need for skilled and non-skilled workers.

“As businesses pivot to virtual and online delivery of goods and services, and many employees work from home, there is increased demand for cyber-security specialists and technology and product specialists to support these transitions,” she said.

“We are also seeing the impact of large organisations like banks, insurance, telecommunications and airlines bringing their call centre and shared services back to Australian shores.

“The uptick in resources sees large resource companies hiring for highly skilled roles such as diesel fitters, auto electricians as well as general skilled roles such as truck drivers and diggers.”

Where the jobs are

  • Essential retail services: roles across warehouse and distribution such as shelf stackers, delivery drivers, supply chain managers and warehousing supervisors
  • Manufacturing: the additional demand for household staples has seen businesses across manufacturing need more workers to keep up with production so factories can operate at an increased capacity
  • Mining and resources: large resource companies are looking for highly skilled roles such as diesel fitters, auto electricians and also more general skilled roles like truck drivers and machine operators
  • Virtual working/digitisation: software development and cyber security are in demand
  • Family support: nannies and tutors, as parents and carers who now need to work from home look for additional support at home with care and education 
  • Healthcare: nursing, aged care, general medical and surgical, pharmacy, physiotherapy, OT and rehabilitation, psychology, counselling and social work
  • Customer support: call centre operators and managers and customer support staff
Latest SEEK data paints grim picture of job market
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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