SEEK Employment Report September - Job ads continue to moderate



  • Job ads continue to moderate, declining 1.8% in September, yet are 17.1% higher than September 2019.
  • Applications per job ad rose slightly by 0.7% from the month prior.*


  • The largest states recorded a decline in job ad volumes month-on-month (m/m), with the largest decline in Queensland (-3.5%).

  • Tasmania (2.0%), the Australlian Capital Territory (1.1%), and South Australia (0.6%) recorded monthly rises in job ads.


  • Science & Technology was the only industry to record m/m growth in job ads, rising 3.5%
  • Engineering declined the most m/m (-8.0%), followed by Banking & Financial Services  (-6.5%) and Consulting & Strategy (-6.4%).

* Applications per job ad increased for the sixth consecutive month, rising 6.5% from the month prior and are now more than double the year prior*.

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

“Job ads declined almost across the board in September, with Science & Technology roles (albeit a small industry) the only one to record increased demand for workers.

“Despite the downward year-on-year trend we have been recording this year, job ads still remain higher than pre-COVID levels. This demonstrates how truly exceptional the boom era of 2022 was and what we are seeing now is a slow moderation of that extremely high demand.

“Applications per job ad do continue to rise, but the rate has slowed, which may be an indication that application activity is levelling out after months of growth.”


Job ad volumes recorded another incremental decline in September, falling 1.8% and are now 18.5% lower year-on-year (y/y). The decline was due to falling job ad numbers in every industry but one, and in the largest states.

Volumes remain 17.1% higher than September 2019 levels. All states and territories are recording higher job ad volumes than pre-COVID except for the Australian Capital Territory, which is 15.9% below September 2019.

Growth in applications per job ad, which have been rising since February, slowed in August, up 0.7% from the month prior.

Figure 1: National SEEK job ad percentage change m/m September 2022 to September 2023

Figure 2: National, state and territory and metro/regional job ad growth/decline comparing September 2023 to: i) August 2023 (m/m), and below below ii) September 2022 (y/y).  


Falling job ad volumes in Queensland (-3.5%), Victoria (-2.3%), Western Australia (-2.2%) and New South Wales (-1.4%), drove the overall decline for the nation.

South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory recorded rises in job ads m/m.

Despite dropping 2.7% m/m, the Northern Territory is the only region where job ads are higher (+1.2% y/y). This is indicative of the territory seeing smaller fluctuation during the Great Job Boom, and growth/decline over the past year being reasonably flat.  

Applications per job ad rose in Tasmania (6.2%), predominantly due to a surge in applications for Healthcare & Medical roles.

Victoria (2.4%), New South Wales (1.7%) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.6%) also recorded rises in applications per job ad.  

Figure 3: Major state job ad trends: September 2019 to September 2023. Index: 100 = 2013 avg


Aside from Science & Technology, where jobs ads rose 3.5%, all industries recorded a decline in job ad numbers in September. Engineering recorded the largest decrease m/m (-8.0%), followed by Banking & Financial Services (-6.5%) and Consulting & Strategy (-6.4%).

Despite recording slight growth in the largest states of New South Wales (0.9%) and Victoria (2.6%), Healthcare & Medical roles declined 0.4% m/m.

Taking a quarterly view, job ads within the Professional Services sector have decreased the fastest, declining 7.3%, compared to the Industrial (-5.0%) and Construction sectors (-3.1%).  

Figure 4: Job ad growth / decline by industry sector quarter-on-quarter

In signs that candidate activity may be evening out, growth in applications per ad slowed to 0.7% in August.

Roles in Trades & Services (1%) and Information & Communication Technology (5%) were the largest industries to record greater applications per ad m/m, but the 15% rise in Retail & Hospitality was the most notable as job ads in this industry also rose in August. In the lead up to Christmas, the increased candidate activity would be welcome news for retail hirers.

Figure 5: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by industry (September 2023 vs August 2023) – Ordered by job ad volume


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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 June differ 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.