Launching the new SEEK Advertised Salary Index. Advertised salaries grew by 4.1% in the year to July 2022

The SEEK Advertised Salary Index (ASI) measures the growth in advertised salaries for jobs posted on SEEK in Australia. This report examines trends up to the month of July 2022. For more information, including how it differs to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Wage Price Index, see bottom of report for more details. 

NATIONAL ADVERTISED SALARY TRENDS

  • The SEEK ASI rose by 4.1% over the year to July 2022.
  • Advertised salary growth picked up significantly in late 2021.
  • Advertised salaries grew 0.4% in July after a 0.4% rise in June.

 

STATE ADVERTISED SALARY TRENDS

  • Advertised salaries grew in every state and territory in the year to July 2022.
  • Queensland (4.7%), Tasmania (4.8%), WA (4.9%) and the NT (5.0%) all experienced advertised salary growth of over 4% in the year to July 2022.
  • SA (1.9%) and the ACT (1.8%) were the only two states or territories to record relatively modest advertised salary growth.

 

INDUSTRY ADVERTISED SALARY TRENDS

  • Advertised salaries rose in every industry in the year to July 2022.
  • Salaries for roles in Design & Architecture (7.3%) and Information & Communication Technology (6.2%) grew the fastest.
  • A range of industries with heavy government involvement, such as Government, Education & Training, Healthcare & Medical and Community Service & Development, experienced slower growth in advertised salaries.

 

ANALYSIS

  • Rapid growth in advertised salaries is now more common than before the pandemic began.
  • Most job types are now experiencing 3% or greater growth in advertised salaries.
  • The pick-up in advertised salary growth is not confined to only some job types; it is broad based.
  • Over the course of the pandemic, advertised salaries have risen most for the lowest paid.

NATIONAL ADVERTISED SALARY TRENDS

The SEEK Advertised Salary Index notes that average Australian advertised salaries rose by 4.1% over the year to July 2022.

Advertised salary growth picked up significantly in late 2021. In recent months it has remained elevated but has not continued accelerating.

Advertised salaries grew 0.4% in July after a 0.4% rise in June.

Advertised salaries are growing much more rapidly than before the pandemic, at nearly double the pace observed in 2019. However, advertised salaries are not growing as rapidly as consumer prices, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) up 6.1% in the year to the June quarter.

The pick-up in advertised salaries is likely to precede a broader increase in wages growth across the economy.

SEEK Senior Economist, Matt Cowgill says:

“As the Great Job Boom continues, observers have wondered when wages and salaries will start to pick up.

If you look at advertised salaries for vacant roles, it is clear they already have.

“Competition for talent is fierce, with the unemployment rate at a near 50-year low. SEEK’s unique data shows employers are responding to the tight labour market by increasing advertised salaries.

“Unlike previous labour market booms, such as the mining boom, this is not a situation in which some parts of the country pull ahead much more rapidly than the rest. The labour market has been almost uniformly strong.

“The pick-up in advertised salary growth has been broad-based. Most types of jobs are seeing annual advertised salary growth greater than three per cent.”

STATE ADVERTISED SALARY TRENDS

Advertised salaries grew in every state and territory over the year to July. Growth in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory was relatively modest, but every other state and the Northern Territory experienced advertised salary growth greater than 3.5%.

Most states have followed a broadly similar path; rapid acceleration in pace of advertised salary growth in the second half of 2021, and a plateau at those high levels through 2022. The common trends across most states and territories reflect the fact that the labour market has been almost uniformly strong, unlike previous labour market booms, where growth was more concentrated in certain sectors or states.

Advertised salary growth in each state and territory other than the ACT has followed a similar path during the pandemic

On average, advertised full-time equivalent (FTE) salaries are higher in the Australian Capital Territory than in other states and territories, at a little over $100,000 for the year to July 2022. Tasmania and South Australia have the lowest average advertised salaries, at around $80,000.

The distribution of advertised salaries is similar across the state and territories, with the exception of the Australian Capital Territory, which has a much larger proportion of roles in the $150,000 to $200,000 range.

INDUSTRY ADVERTISED SALARY TRENDS

Advertised salaries rose in each of the 27 industries included in the SEEK ASI over the year to July. The biggest gains were in Design & Architecture (+7.3%) and Information Communication & Technology (+6.2%). A range of industries with heavier public sector involvement experienced sluggish growth in advertised salaries, including Government (+1.4%), Education & Training (+1.6%) and Healthcare & Medical (+2.4%).

Average advertised salaries differ greatly across the 27 industries included in the SEEK ASI. The average full-time equivalent advertised salary for roles in Information & Communication Technology was $130,121 in the year to July 2022, whereas the average in Retail & Consumer Products was less than half that at $58,438.17.

ANALYSIS

 

Growth for the lowest paid-fifth of jobs has been robust, with advertised salaries up 4.4% in the year to July. The second highest salary band experienced slightly faster growth, at 4.5%. Advertised salary growth has been the most modest for the middle band, at 3.3% over the year to July.

The highest paid salary band did not accelerate as quickly as the others in 2021, but has caught up now, with advertised salaries up by 4.1% in the past year.

Advertised salaries for lower-paid jobs rose at around the same pace as for higher-paid jobs in the year to July 2022. But over the whole course of the pandemic, advertised salaries for the lower-paid jobs have risen faster than for higher-paid jobs 

Advertised salaries for the lowest-paid jobs didn’t fall as far during the initial phase of the pandemic, and were quicker to rebound through late 2020 and into 2021.

Overall, advertised salaries for jobs in the lowest-paid band were 7.1% higher in July 2022 than they were in February 2020, while advertised salaries for the highest-paid were 4.3% higher in July 2022 than in February 2020. This reflects the very strong demand for workers in lower-paid industries, such as Hospitality & Tourism.

The pick-up in advertised salary growth is not confined to only some job types; it is broad based. SEEK data tracks advertised salaries for 348 different industry subclassifications as part of the SEEK ASI; 60.3% of those subclassifications recorded an average advertised salaries rise by 3% or more in the year to July, up from 34.5% for the year to February 2020.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, far fewer subclassifications include advertised salaries falling, or slowing growth. Far more subclassifications have an average advertised salary growth of 3% or greater.

 

SEEK ASI COMPARED TO THE WPI

The ABS’ WPI measures the change in the cost of employing a fixed set of jobs; its scope is all jobs within certain industries. The SEEK ASI measures only the growth in advertised salaries for vacant roles. In general, employers are more willing and able to adjust the salaries advertised for vacant roles than the salaries paid to existing staff, which explains why advertised salary growth varies more over the economic cycle. As such, it is not surprising the SEEK ASI and the WPI do not track each other perfectly given they measure different concepts and use different methods.

Before the pandemic, the SEEK ASI and the WPI were growing at a similar pace, around 2.2-2.3% per year. When the pandemic hit, growth in advertised salaries slowed rapidly. In late 2020, advertised salaries were slightly below their level of a year earlier. The WPI never fell, reflecting the well-documented ‘stickiness’ of wages for ongoing employees, but WPI growth dipped to 1.4% in the year to the September 2020 quarter, its lowest-ever growth rate.

Both measures started growing more rapidly in mid to late 2021. The WPI grew by 2.3% in 2021, just above its pre-pandemic pace, and picked up again in the year to the June 2022 quarter (2.6%). The SEEK ASI picked up much more aggressively, rising by 4.3% in 2021, and 4.1% in the year to July 2022.

 

Click for the latest SEEK Advertised Salary Index data or for more employment insights or career advice please visit SEEK’s Hiring Advice or SEEK's Career Advice

MEDIA NOTE: When reporting SEEK data, we request that you attribute SEEK as the source and refer to SEEK as an employment marketplace.

Commentary relating to the SEEK Advertised Salary Index can be attributed to Matt Cowgill, SEEK Senior Economist.

About the SEEK Advertised Salary Index (ASI)

The SEEK Advertised Salary Index measures the change in advertised salaries over time for jobs posted on SEEK in Australia, removing much of the effect of compositional change. The SEEK ASI is a complement to existing data about the growth in wages and salaries in Australia, including the ABS’ WPI. The WPI is a measure of the pace of wages growth across the economy. The SEEK ASI provides a timely and frequent read on the pulse of advertised salary growth in Australia for vacant roles.

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.