SEEK Employment Report - June 2021 jobs ads remain high whilst applications still low
OVERVIEW OF JUNE 2021:
STATE OF THE NATION:
- SEEK job ads were up by 91.6% in June 2021 when compared to June 2020 (y/y) and were up 23.7% when compared to June 2019.
- Following a slight decline of 0.6% in May, June also saw a small month-on-month (m/m) decrease of 1.3% in new job ads.
- Applications per ad increased for the first time since the height of the pandemic, with 6.1% more applications per ad m/m. Application levels continue to be at low levels compared to historical trends.
- Job ad growth in Professional Service roles continues to lag behind other sectors.
STATE OF THE STATES:
- Most states saw a slight decline in new job ads m/m.
- All states and territories showing double-digit growth in new job ads compared to June 2019.
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 is 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.”
Figure 1: National SEEK Job Ad volume compared to average applications per ad - January 2019 to June 2021
STATE OF THE STATES: MONTH-ON-MONTH GROWTH LIMITED TO WA AND THE ACT
In April SEEK reported all states and territories had record high job ad numbers. In June there was a slight decline m/m - in most parts of the country, except for the ACT and Western Australia.
All states continue to show at least a double-digit growth compared to June 2019.
Kendra Banks continues: “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.
“We traditionally see softening of the labour market at the end of a financial year, however at the same time, most states and territories were impacted with snap lockdowns or restrictions of varying levels. Victoria experienced significant restrictions in June which could explain why the state saw the biggest month-on-month drop of 3.5% of all the states and territories. Of course, it is also to be expected after experiencing record highs to see a levelling off across the states.”
Table 1: National, state and territory job ad growth/decline comparing June 2021 to: i) May 2021 (m/m); ii) June 2020 (y/y) and; iii) June 2019.
Figure 2: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by state (June 2021 vs May 2021)
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY SECTORS: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES LAGGING BEHIND THE OTHER SECTORS
Despite each sector being higher than two years ago, it is clear that roles within Professional Services are not driving national job ad growth.
Kendra Banks states: “Throughout the pandemic, Professional Services has been the slowest sector to recover. This sector is mostly made up of office-based CBD roles. Looking at the job ad mix across all the sectors from June 2019 and June 2021, we can see Professional Service has dropped by six percentage points as a proportion of total 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%. As we move into the new financial year, it will be interesting to see if these roles increase further as business priorities and new budgets are set.”
Professional Services is comprised of Accounting, Human Resources & Recruitment, Marketing & Communications, Banking & Financial Services, Legal, Science & Technology, Consulting & Strategy, Information & Communication Technology and Insurance & Superannuation.
Table 2: Job ad sector mix comparing June 2019 and June 2021
Table 3: Job ad growth by sector comparing June 2019 and June 2021
Figure 3: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by industry (June 2021 vs May 2021)
MEDIA NOTE: When reporting SEEK data, we request that you attribute SEEK as the source and refer to SEEK as an employment marketplace.
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