SEEK Employment Report - November - Job ad market returns to positive y/y growth



  • SEEK job ads are up by 8.6% month-on-month (m/m).
  • SEEK job ads are up 1.0% year-on-year (y/y). This is the first y/y increase in new job ads since before the pandemic.
  • Hiring in some industries has continued later into the year than usual, particularly in Hospitality & Tourism which experienced the highest m/m job ad volume growth.
  • While jobseeker traffic remains consistent y/y, applications volumes are down. This is most notable in Trades & Services, Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Hospitality & Tourism and Retail.


  • For a third month running, the top three states that contributed the most to m/m growth in job ads were Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.
  • Victoria experienced the biggest m/m rise of 20.2%, its third consecutive month of double-digit growth.
  • South Australia job ads slowed in November when temporary restrictions were introduced but still ended the month with an overall m/m increase of 2.5%.



The latest SEEK Employment Report data shows continued positive m/m performance with an increase of 8.6% in national jobs advertised.

Significantly, when comparing November 2019 with November 2020, new job ads have increased by 1.0%. Job ad growth y/y is being driven by industries recruiting later into the year than usual. This is likely due to the easing of restrictions, border openings and people being able to travel which are all boosting business confidence.

Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ comments: “We have continued to see positive, national month-on-month job ad growth since the end of April 2020. We are very pleased to report 1.0% more new job ads were posted on in November 2020 than in November 2019.

After a challenging 2020 for hirers and job seekers, this is a more positive note in which to end the year. We can have some confidence the easing of restrictions nationally, together with the reopening of businesses and industries, is driving a return towards pre-COVID levels.

“This year we have seen hiring for roles in industries like Hospitality & Tourism and Trades & Services happen later in the year than usual. As businesses prepare for the holiday period ahead of a COVID-normal summer, the advertising which would typically happen in September and October happened later. With the uncertainty that existed around travel easing, businesses are now acting on their hiring needs, including many small businesses re-hiring team members. “

Certain states and industries are finding it harder to fill vacancies, as the increase in job ads reduces the availability of candidates and creates more choice for job seekers.

Industries with customer-facing roles are seeing a drop in application volume, in some cases by up to 30% y/y.

Kendra Banks continues “One trend we’re noticing is job seekers being more selective when choosing which roles to apply for. While the number of job seekers viewing ads is the same as this time last year, the number who go on to apply is 15% lower year-on-year.

“This behaviour is in contrast with what we saw throughout 2020, where applications per ad were typically higher than usual. So, it is increasingly becoming more of a job seekers’ market, particularly in Western Australia and Queensland, and in industries like Trades & Services, Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Hospitality & Tourism and Retail.”

Figure 1: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change (m/m)


Throughout the COVID recovery, we have outlined how job ads across all states and territories are recovering from their lowest point in April at three different rates.

Fittingly in our last report for the year, and after three strong monthly performances, Victoria has now joined with New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory in nearing pre-COVID levels for new job ads.

The country is now split between two groups:

  • Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory, have each fully rebounded with job ad volumes higher than the same time last year.
  • Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT are nearing, but have not quite reached those pre-COVID levels.

Kendra Banks continues
: “Looking at the national picture, we have continued to see strong month-on-month growth across all states and territories except in Western Australia, which saw a very small decline in November – however the state is still up considerably on this time last year. WA’s 1.0% decline can likely be attributed to the seasonal winding down of the year.

“In South Australia, which experienced a brief reintroduction of restrictions, the impact on job ads was immediate with a 26-percentage point drop in the corresponding week. Despite this, South Australia rebounded well and finished the month with a 2.5% increase in job ads, and a healthy 17.6% higher than the same time last year.

“For the first time since COVID restrictions were imposed, Victoria is no longer the state with the biggest percentage difference of new job ads compared to 12 months ago. After three consecutive months of double-digit growth, including 17.3% in September, 20.7% in October and now 20.2% in November, Victoria has moved beyond ACT and New South Wales in year-on-year job ad growth. This marks a significant turnaround for the state, which was severely impacted during this year’s COVID restrictions and lockdown.”

Table 1: National, state and territory job ad growth/decline comparing November 2020 to: i) October 2020 (m/m) and; ii) November 2019 (y/y)

Figure 2: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by state (November 2020 vs October 2020)


Topping the list of industries contributing the most to growth in jobs listed on, for the second month in a row, are Hospitality & Tourism followed by Trades & Services and Healthcare & Medical.

Trades & Services and Healthcare & Medical have not only had the most significant m/m contribution to growth, but both industries have more job ads than this time last year with a 34.5% and 9.1% increase respectively. Hospitality & Tourism has had a y/y increase of 28%.

Below is an example of the sorts of roles most in-demand within the top three sectors for November:

· Hospitality & Tourism with roles for chefs/cooks, waiting staff, bar & beverage staff, management, kitchen & sandwich hands, house-keeping and front office & guest services.

· Trades & Services with roles in automotive trades, labourers, electricians, hair & beauty services, welders & boiler makers, technicians, carpentry & cabinet making, gardening & landscaping being in demand.

· Healthcare & Medical including roles for physiotherapists, occupational therapists & rehabilitation, nurses – aged care and general medical, psychology, counselling & social work, dental and medical administration.

Figure 3: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by industry (November 2020 vs October 2020)

Download the latest employment data here 

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.