SEEK Employment Snapshot

This is a new report to complement the SEEK Employment Trends report that is released monthly. The impacts of COVID-19 have amplified since the start of March. For the foreseeable future SEEK will publish more regular insights into candidate behavior and job ad movements.

Key insights

  • New job ads posted on SEEK in the first week of April down 65.3% compared to the same week last year
  • All sectors showing a job advertising decline
  • Victoria & New South Wales showing the biggest declines of 71.6% and 67.4% respectively 
  • Candidate visits to down but application rates are up by over 40% for roles in Call Centre & Customer Service, Hospitality & Tourism, Retail & Consumer Products and Sales. 


Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ comments: “The impacts of COVID-19 on the labour market have been swift and extreme. 2020 was already off to a rocky start after Australia’s devastating bushfires and a looming economic slowdown, and job ad volumes within this timeframe reflected this, down between   7 – 11% compared to the same period in 2019. However, the latest numbers show just how much coronavirus has impacted the labour market. Since the beginning of March, national job ads have declined by;

  • 12.6% in week ended 8 March and,
  • 17.3% in week ended 15 March and,
  • 41.3% in week ended 22 March and,
  • 64.6% in week ended 29 March and, 
  • 65.3% last week, week ended 5 April.  

“Two distinct changes are occurring in Australia’s labour market right now. Unsurprisingly and unfortunately there is a mass reduction in the number of jobs available at a national level, whilst simultaneously there is an urgent demand for workers in specific industries.  

“Victoria and New South Wales are showing the biggest declines in the past week with job ads down 71.6% and 67.4% respectively. Speaking with customers we have been encouraged to hear that corporate Australia is working together. Where companies have had to stand down workers, they are speaking to businesses who have an immediate need for labour to see if they can deploy staff into those roles.

“Organisations servicing the essential retail sector, and aspects of the healthcare sector have an urgent need for skilled and non-skilled workers. As businesses pivot to virtual and online delivery of goods and services, and many employees work-from-home, there is increased demand for cyber security specialists, and technology and product specialists to support these transitions. We are also seeing the impact of large organisations like banks, insurance, telecommunications and airlines bringing their call centre and shared services back to Australian shores. 
“The uptick in resources sees large resource companies hiring for highly skilled roles such as diesel fitters, auto electricians, as well as general skilled roles such as truck drivers and diggers”. 

Where the jobs are:

  • Essential retail services: roles across warehouse and distribution such as shelf stackers, delivery drivers, supply chain managers and warehousing supervisors.

  • Manufacturing: the additional demand for household staples has seen businesses across manufacturing need more workers to keep up with production, so factories can operate at an increased capacity. 

  • Mining & Resources: Large resource companies are looking for highly skilled roles such as diesel fitters, auto electricians and also more general skilled roles like truck drivers and machine operators.

  • Virtual working / Digitisation: software development and cyber security are in demand.

  • Family support; nannies and tutors, as parents and carers who now need to work from home look for additional support at home with care and education. 

  • Healthcare; Nursing - Aged Care, General Medical & Surgical, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, OT & Rehabilitation, Psychology, Counselling & Social Work.

  • Customer support: call centre operators and managers and customer support staff. 

FIGURE 1: Job ad volumes 2019 compared to 2020 

SEEK New Job Ads


SEEK conducts surveys with Australians currently employed and those looking for work to understand their position on work and career related subjects.

Since January 2020 we have tracked how Australian’s feel about their future employment or job prospects. 

  • Future job confidence is down but over half (53%) still feel positive about their future employment prospects. (left hand side graph below) 
  • Australian’s sense of job security has also dropped from 66% but again more than half (53%) feel secure in their current role. (right hand side graph) 

Figure 2: Jobseekers confidence about finding future job prospects

Figure 3: Feeling of job security from current employees

Figure 4: Week 14 new job ad decline based on week ended 5 April 2020 vs. week ended 7 April 2019
(sectors with * are the top 10 sectors by job ad volume) 


MEDIA NOTE: When reporting SEEK data, we request that you attribute SEEK as the source.