SEEK Employment Snapshot - a slowly improving market

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 20 & 21 compared to April 2020):

  • New job ads posted on SEEK during the fortnight ended 24 May are up 39.7% compared to April 2020. This is a further uplift from 26.8% In the previous two weeks. 
  • The biggest contributors to job ad growth are Trades & Services, Hospitality & Tourism, Healthcare & Medical, Administration and Office Support and Education & Training 
  • All states are showing an increase in job ad activity
  • Tasmania (58.8%), Queensland (55.4%) and South Australia (51.8%) showing the largest job ad growth in the fortnight ended 24 May. 
  • Roles within Consumer Services continuing to grow, up by 123.9% compared to April

A slowly improving employment market 

Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ comments: “In the fortnight ended 24 May we saw an increase in job advertising of 39.7% compared to the average of the month of April. This is a further uplift from 26.8% in the previous two weeks. We also saw some positive signs of activity from the larger hiring sectors, namely Consumer Services and Professional Services, which accounted for 19% and 23% respectively of new job ads by sector in the last fortnight. Although it was another week of positive trends, it is still important to remember that we still have a long way to go before we return to pre-COVID levels

“Our job ad volume data continued to show promising signs throughout the week, with all states and territories showing further growth in the fortnight ended 24 May. As social restrictions continue to ease, we expect to see more opportunities open up for jobseekers as businesses and hirers look to get their operations back up and running.  Tasmania, Queensland and South Australia are showing the biggest growth in job ad volume in the last two weeks.”

The states showed: 

  • Tasmania up by 58.8%
  • Queensland up by 55.4%
  • South Australia up by 51.8%
  • Victoria up by 41.6%     
  • Western Australia up by 40.8%
  • Northern Territory up by 40.4%
  • New South Wales up by 31.2%
  • Australian Capital Territory up by 12.8% 

Figure one: SEEK new job ads by state for 2020 


Industry Sectors

The Consumer Services sector continues to grow, showing an increase of 123.9% in the last two weeks when compared to the April average, and making up 19% of the total jobs advertised on SEEK. As you can see below (figure three) roles within Consumer Services visibly constricted from mid-March but are starting to return – although volumes are still well down on pre-COVID levels (figure two). 

Consumer Services include 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. These sectors were hardest hit by lockdown restrictions as we see these ease this is translating to an uptick with these areas. 

Other sectors also showed positive growth, and include:  

  • Construction increasing 45.0% making up 19% of ads and;
  • Public Sector increasing 33.4% making up 27% and;
  • Professional Services increasing 15.9% making up 23% and;
  • Industrial 21.8% making up 12%.

Figure two: SEEK new job ads by grouped sectors for 2020 


Figure three: SEEK new job ads percentage total by sectors for 2020


Figure four: Weeks 20 & 21 new job ad difference compared to April 2020 average


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.

  • Only 7% of candidates have received upskilling or reskilling opportunities during this time
  • Half of all people looking for a job say that working conditions/ environment are the most important consideration
  • 2 in 3 say that new technologies have enabled them to work from home more effectively
  • Views are polarized on efficacy of working from home compared to the office. While 1 in 3 (33%) people say they work from home more efficiently, a similar proportion (30%) feel less efficient – with parents often feeling this way.

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.