April Employment Report - SEEK job ads down by 33.9%



  • SEEK job ads are down by 33.9% y/y 
  • Industries with the greatest contribution to overall job ad decline y/y are: Hospitality & Tourism (-47.7%), Trades & Services (-36%) and Information & Communication Technology (-30.7%) 


  • Job ad volumes have decreased in every state and territory. Top three states contributing to the nation’s overall decline in job ads: NSW (-35.1% y/y), VIC (-39.1% y/y) and QLD (-29.6%). 


The latest SEEK Employment Report shows an overall decline in job ad volume, down -33.9% year on year to March 2020. 

The industries contributing most significantly to the overall decline in job ads are Trades & Services, Information & Communication Technology and Hospitality & Tourism. 

SEEK also acknowledges the rapid decline of the labour market throughout March. In the last month, national job ads declined significantly week on week compared to the same week last year. Since the beginning of March, national job ads have declined by;

  • 12.6% in week ended 8 March and,
  • 17.3% in week ended 15 March and,
  • 41.3% in week ended 22 March and,
  • 64.6% in week ended 29 March. 

Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ comments:  

“The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruption to the labour market and SEEK is seeing a range of industries respond in very different ways. 

Hospitality and Tourism was one of the first sectors to be impacted by the pandemic. Job ads declined week on week throughout March, starting at -13%, then -26%, then -69.2% and by the final week of March, down -84.1%. SEEK saw employers and business owners looking for roles within the sector, such as bar staff, housekeeping, guest services, tour guides, airline staff and travel agents, cease or stall their plans completely, which is a direct result of the restrictions imposed by authorities such as international borders closing and social isolation measures. 

However, while still in decline, the Community Services & Development and Healthcare & Medical sectors are showing some pockets of activity, as governments and service providers aim to meet community demand. Roles in aged care and disability support, and child welfare, youth and family services have remained steady as have nurses practicing general medical and surgical, as well as critical care and ICU. 

We know that employers are either scaling up or winding back their recruitment needs at a rapid pace, and there are far greater applications per job ad than what we typically see across almost all sectors. Our advice for jobseekers is to keep your SEEK profile up to date and follow the application process. Employers have been inundated with applications so standing out and being competitive by tailoring your resume to the job ad, being clear about your skills and experience which directly align to the job you’re applying for throughout the recruitment process is vitally important. 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, we continue to watch the movements in the labour market very closely to understand how each sector is responding with regards to hiring intentions and business activity”. 

Figure 1: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by state (March 2020 vs March 2019)


Figure 2: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by industry (March 2020 vs March 2019)


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MEDIA NOTE: When reporting SEEK data, we request that you attribute SEEK as the source.