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Employers looking to hire casually as uncertainty continues

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
23 October 2020 1 minute readShare
Employers looking to hire casually as uncertainty continues

Casual work is accounting for the greater proportion of the recovery in job opportunities and is reflective of a trend towards flexible staffing arrangements in uncertain times, new research reveals.

The Sunsuper Australian Job Index revealed that the number of casual job opportunities rose by 19.5 per cent over the September quarter, higher than the overall job index which rose by almost 15 per cent.

However, Sunsuper chief economist Brian Parker said the index still remains nearly 40 per cent lower than the same period last year.

He also noted that the ratio of contingent job advertisements as a percentage of total advertisements is now 33.2 per cent, which highlights employers’ preference towards flexible staffing arrangements in uncertain times. 

“There was enormous variation in the movement in job vacancies by occupational group in the September quarter,” Mr Parker said.

“Both manager and clerical roles grew well above the national norm, 12 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, but this recovery is from a low base, and both remain 42 per cent lower than a year ago.

“The strongest performing occupational group was professionals, rising a massive 25.3 per cent in the last three months. The professional occupational group represents the highest volume of job advertisements of all occupational groups.

“It’s also worth noting that those occupations showing the higher levels of growth — notably managers, professionals and clerical and administration — have all seen larger increases for contingent vacancies than permanent opportunities.”

By industry, the standout for the September quarter was education and training, where the number of opportunities rose by 51.6 per cent, even though it came off a low base.

From a regional perspective, the most consistent gains were made in NSW, up by 24.4 per cent in permanent job opportunities and 27.3 per cent in contingent work (25.3 per cent overall). However, the number of opportunities in NSW is still down by 35.6 per cent year-on-year.

“Victoria did, surprisingly, show improvement since June, particularly in contingent work. After recording solid gains in May, June and July, renewed lockdowns resulted in a sharp fall in the number of opportunities in August before a partial recovery in September,” Mr Parker said.

“The rebound in job prospects in the ACT is a more encouraging story for jobseekers. The strong growth, particularly in contingent work, means that the ACT, down just 8 per cent on year-ago levels, along with Tasmania (down by 9.5 per cent), are the regions to have best withstood the first six months of the pandemic.”

Employers looking to hire casually as uncertainty continues
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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