SEEK Employment Report: Strong national job ad growth in September



SEEK job ads are up by 9.2% month-on-month (m/m).

SEEK job ads are down 20.9% year-on-year (y/y).

Industries with the highest job ad growth m/m by volume are Hospitality & Tourism, Trades & Services and Sales.


The top three states that contributed the most to m/m growth in job ads were New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Although Victoria is showing strong positive growth m/m, it is still lagging the other states and is growing from a smaller base.

Each state and territory experienced m/m job ad growth.


The latest SEEK Employment Report data shows a strong return to positive m/m performance with a 9.2% national growth in jobs advertised.

Comparing September 2020 with September 2019, job ads are 20.9% lower, which is the smallest difference in y/y comparison since the pandemic began, improving further from August which had a y/y difference of 29.1%.

Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ comments: “This month we have seen strong growth across all states and territories nationally, resulting in a healthy month-on-month growth of 9.2%. With last week’s Federal Budget including a focus on jobs and employment, together with the potential easing of restrictions in Victoria, we will be watching with interest to see if this positive trend continues.

“Topping the list of industries contributing the most to growth in jobs listed on is Hospitality & Tourism. This industry has seen the highest number of jobs increase on-site from August to September with a 41% increase in new jobs advertised. This is particularly pleasing as we know this industry has been impacted heavily over the course of the year. Its recovery is closely linked to the easing of restrictions, and we are also starting to see businesses prepare for the summer and Christmas holiday period by beginning seasonal hiring.”

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


In September the m/m growth rate for New South Wales and Victoria has accelerated sharply, with both experiencing big gains in SEEK job ads growth, at 10.9% and 12.9% respectively. This upturn signals the two states have begun to recover ground after previously tracking behind other states and territories in job ad rates comparable to pre-COVID levels.

Last month we explained job ads across all states and territories are recovering from their lowest point in April at three different rates:

  • Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory have fully rebounded or have job ad rates comparable to pre-COVID levels;
  • Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory are continuing to recover towards pre-COVID levels, and;
  • Victoria’s recovery has been the laggard given COVID-19 restrictions.

Queensland's strong performance in September may be indicating it is close to moving into the top tier of recovery, recording a 5.3% m/m growth.

Kendra Banks continues: “The top three states contributing to monthly job ads by volume are Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The nation’s job ad growth is closely linked to what is happening in New South Wales and Victoria, and pleasingly this month both states have seen growth of 10.9% and 12.9% respectively, although both are growing off a comparatively lower base as they are still 21.5% and 48.2% down on this time last year.

“New South Wales and Victoria are joined by the ACT as states and territories that have the furthest to go to reach pre-COVID levels. The extended period of restriction is obviously having an impact on Victoria, whereas New South Wales and the ACT are being driven by the influence of Professional Service roles. This was a sector hit hard over the last six months and is taking longer to recover, with those roles down 26.2% for the ACT and 38.2% for New South Wales year-on-year.

“Queensland is continuing to show improvement and this month we’ve seen that the Sunshine State only has 7.1% fewer jobs than this time last year. This means that we could soon see Queensland join Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory as states and territories that have job ad volumes the same or better than this time last year.”

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

Figure 2: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by state (September 2020 vs August 2020)



The three industries that had the highest amount of jobs ad growth during September were Hospitality & Tourism, Trades & Services and Sales.

  • Hospitality & Tourism with roles for chefs/ cooks, waiting staff, bar & beverage staff and management.
  • Trades & Services with roles in automotive trades, labourers, electricians, hair & beauty services, welders & boiler makers, technicians, carpentry & cabinet making, gardening & landscaping being in demand.
  • Sales including roles for sales representatives / consultants, new business development and account & relationship management.

Sales, in particular, has been showing a positive trend since the start of the financial year, with a 24% m/m increase in September compared to August. This could be a reflection that business confidence is increasing as the overall economic view strengthens.

Figure 3: National SEEK Job Ad percentage change by industry (September 2020 vs August 2020)   

Download September 2020 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.