SEEK Employment Report - October 2023

  • After months of incremental decline, job ads recorded a larger decline in October of 5.0%.
  • Job ad volumes are 16.6% higher than October 2019.
  • Applications per job ad rose 4.1% from the month prior.*
  • Victoria led the decline in job ads, falling 6.8% month-on-month (m/m), followed by New South Wales, which fell 5.1%
  • The states to record a rise in job ads in October were Tasmania (1.4%) and Western Australia (1.0%).
  • An 11.6% drop in Hospitality & Tourism job ads led the overall decline.
  • Legal (2.0%), Consulting and Strategy (1.9%) and Farming, Animals & Conservation (1.3%) were the industries to record an increase in job ads in October.

Of the October data, Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ, says:

“Job ads fell 5.0% in October, indicating that perhaps employers have begun winding up their hiring activity early for the year.


“Despite the proximity to the busy summer season, Hospitality & Tourism recorded the greatest drop in ad volume, likely due to inflation and the rising cost of living putting continued pressure on businesses.


“There is still increasing interest among candidates to find a new role, as applications per job ad rose in almost every industry and in all of the largest states.


“With two months until the end of the year we would expect both hiring and application activity to slow over the coming months, before picking up again early next year.”

Job ad volumes declined 5.0% in October m/m. They are now 19.9% lower year-on-year (y/y) but 16.6% higher compared to October 2019.
The decline was led by falling job ad numbers in Victoria and New South Wales, occurring in all but three industries.  
After slowing the month prior, growth in applications per job ad picked up again in September, rising 4.1%, and in almost every industry. Levels are now 81.1% higher y/y.
Figure 1: National SEEK job ad percentage change m/m October 2022 to October 2023
Figure 2: National, state and territory and metro/ regional job ad growth/decline comparing October 2023 to: i) September 2023 (m/m), and below ii) October 2022 (y/y).
Victoria recorded the largest decline in job ad volumes in October, dropping 6.8% from September, the state’s largest decline in two years.
The sharp decline was mainly due to an 8.2% drop in Melbourne metro jobs, particularly in the Construction and Industrial sectors, compared to the rest of the state where job ads fell 2.8%.
New South Wales also recorded a notable 5.1% drop in job ads. After recording among the greatest increases in job ads during the Great Job Boom last year, job ads in the two most populous states, Victoria and New South Wales, have now fallen to the greatest degree, down 26.5% and 24.6% respectively. Queensland, on the other hand, also grew significantly last year, rising 30% in the year to May 2022, but has not moderated as notably as the other two states, with job ads dropping 15.5% y/y.
Tasmania recorded a second month of job ad growth, rising 1.4%, and Western Australia was the only other state where job ads rose, up 1.0%.
Applications per job ad rose in all states aside from Tasmania, and in the two territories.
Figure 3: Major state job ad trends: October 2019 to October 2023
Index: 100 = 2013 avg
All but three industries recorded a decline in job ad volumes in October: Legal (2.0%), Consulting and Strategy (1.9%) and Farming, Animals & Conservation (1.3%).
An 11.6% fall in Hospitality & Tourism job ads drove the overall drop in job ads, mainly due to double digit decline within the industry in Victoria, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory. Trades & Services (-4.6%) and Healthcare & Medical (-3.4%) were the next major contributors to the fall in job ad numbers.
Many of the largest hiring industries still have historically high job ad volumes, despite many months of job ad decline, including Trades & Services and Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics which are both 50% or more higher than October 2019 volumes.
Table 1: Job ad growth for the top 5 industries October 2023 v October 2019
As job ad volumes have fallen, the ratio of applications per job ad have risen in most industries, including rising 14% in Human Resources & Recruitment roles, 6% in Community Services & Development and 5% in Trades & Services.
Figure 4: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by industry (September 2023 vs October 2023) – Ordered by job ad volume


About the SEEK Employment Report

The SEEK Employment Report is Australia’s leading employment index and provides a comprehensive overview of the Australian Employment Marketplace. The report includes the SEEK Employment Index (SEI) which measures only new job ads posted within the reported month to provide a clean measure of demand for labour across all classifications.

Note: the SEI differs to the job ad count on SEEK’s website due to a number of factors including: 1) seasonal adjustments applied to the SEI; 2) the exclusion of duplicated job ads from the SEI; and 3) the exclusion of Company Listings (included under Company Profiles) from the SEI.

Disclaimer: The Data should be viewed and regarded as standalone information and should not be aggregated with any other information whether such information has been previously provided by SEEK Limited, ("SEEK"). The Data is given in summary form and whilst care has been taken in its preparation, SEEK makes no representations whatsoever about its completeness or accuracy. SEEK expressly bears no responsibility or liability for any reliance placed by you on the Data, or from the use of the Data by you. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately.