SEEK Employment Snapshot - the road to recovery

This snapshot complements the SEEK Employment Trends report that is released monthly. SEEK will publish regular insights based on job ad movements compared to a baseline of April 2020.

Key insights (weeks 19 & 20 compared to April 2020):

  • New job ads posted on SEEK during the fortnight ended 17 May are up 26.8% compared to April 2020 average
  • The biggest contributors to job ad growth are Trades & Services (+45.1%), Administration and Office Support (+88.5%), Education & Training (+75.3%), Hospitality & Tourism (+101.6%) and Sales (+97.1%) 
  • All states are showing an increase in job ad activity
  • South Australia showing the largest job ad growth out of all states in May, up 36.2% in the fortnight ended 17 May. 
  • Roles within Consumer Services showing the biggest growth of 84.4% making up 37% of opportunities advertised on SEEK 
  • Employees perception of job security at the highest levels for 2020 

The road to recovery across the labour market 

Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ comments: “In the fortnight ended 17 May we saw an increase in job advertising of 26.8% compared to the average of the month of April. As Australia begins its long road to recovery, we are looking at comparing job ad volumes to April. We are using April as a baseline as we hope this is the low point for job ad numbers and we can use this as a comparison for how the employment market is progressing. It is important to remember that these figures are a long way shy of the pre-COVID volumes and there is a long road ahead.” 

“There are some promising signs with all states and territories showing an increase in job ad volumes compared to April, suggesting we have turned a corner as long as we do not see a return of restrictions or a further outbreak. South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland are showing the biggest growth in job ad volume in the last two weeks.

The states showed: 

  • South Australia up by 36.2%
  • Tasmania up by 35.7%
  • Queensland up by 35.1%
  • Victoria up by 28.8%     
  • Northern Territory up by 28.1%
  • Western Australia up by 27.4%
  • New South Wales up by 21.2%
  • Australian Capital Territory up by 13.6% 

Figure one: SEEK new job ads by state for 2020


Industry sectors

Sectors within Consumer Services have shown the biggest growth in the last two weeks with an 84.4% growth compared to the April average, making up 37% of the total jobs advertised on SEEK. Consumer Services includes Administration & Office Support, Hospitality and Tourism, Sales, Retail and Consumer Products, Real Estate and Property, Call Centre & Customer Service, Sport & Recreation and Advertising, Arts & Media sectors. 

Other sectors also showed positive growth, and include:  

  • Public Sector increasing 24.6% making up 26% of ads;
  • Construction increasing 29.4% making up 20%;
  • Professional Services increasing 9.9% making up 10% and;
  • Industrial 12.9% making up 7%.

Where the jobs are

  • Healthcare & Medical: roles such as Nursing (Aged Care and General Medical), Physiotherapy, Psychology, Counselling & Social Work and GPs 
  • Trades & Services: Automotive, Labourers, Fitters, Turners & Machinists & Electricians
  • Information & Communication Technology: Developers/ Programmers, Business/ Systems Analysts, Software Engineering, and Project Management 
  • Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics: Warehousing, Storage & Distribution, Road Transport, Assembly & Process Work and Machine Operators
  • Mining, Resources & Energy:  Engineering & Maintenance and Operations.

How has COVID-19 changed the way we work?

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

Early indications for May show that confidence has returned to the Australian workforce

  • Nearly two in three (64%) are optimistic about their future job prospects - the highest of 2020
  • 67% of workers feel secure in their role, also the highest of 2020

FIGURE TWO: Responses to the question “How do you feel about your future employment / job prospects?”

FIGURE THREE: Responses to the question “How secure do you feel your current job is?”


FIGURE FOUR: Weeks 19 & 20 new job ad difference compared to April 2020 average
(sectors with * are the top 10 sectors by job ad volume) 


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 a 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. 

SEEK job ads:  Job ad data is based on all paid job ads posted to SEEK during the week, weighted for the number of business days. Therefore, these figures may differ slightly from the monthly SEEK Employment Report which has different adjustment factors applied.

Candidate survey: Independent research conducted by Nature on behalf of SEEK. Interviewing 4,800 Australians annually. Data sets: Jan n=950, Feb = 373, March n=1,122, April n =708, May n=304.

Sector breakdowns:

  • Consumer Services is comprised of Administration & Office Support, Hospitality and Tourism, Sales, Retail and Consumer Products, Real Estate and Property, Call Centre & Customer Service, Sport & Recreation and Advertising, Arts & Media
  • Public Sector is comprised of Education & Training, Healthcare & Medical, Community Services & Development and Government & Defence
  • Construction is comprised of Trades & Services, Construction, Engineering and Design and Architecture 
  • Professional Services is comprised of Accounting, Human Resources & Recruitment, Marketing & Communications, Banking & Financial Services, Legal, Science & Technology, Consulting & Strategy, Information & Communication Technology and insurance & Superannuation 
  • Industrial is comprised of Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Farming, Animals & Conservation and Mining, Resources & Energy