SEEK Employment Snapshot - Job ads hit 90% of pre-COVID levels

Key insights (weeks 42& 43 compared to February 2020):

  • SEEK job ads in the last fortnight are at 90% of pre-COVID levels
  • Queensland joins South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory as the states and territories that are showing more job ads than pre-COVID levels.
  • Job ads in Victoria have jumped to 76% of pre-COVID levels, 20-percentage points higher than four weeks ago and are approaching similar percentages to New South Wales.
  • Roles within Professional Services have the furthest to recover nationally with job ads at 65% of pre-COVID levels.


Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ comments: “In the fortnight ended 25 October 2020, job ad volumes across Australia were 90% of pre-COVID levels. October has continued the strong growth from September. This is the highest national job ad figure since COVID began having an impact in March.

“Queensland has now joined Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania as states and territories that have more job ads than pre-COVID levels.

“We have often talked about the close correlation between restrictions easing and more jobs advertised, and this is again evident. The relaxation of restrictions in Victoria from 18 October and the announcement of further restrictions easing now allowing retail and hospitality, in particular, to re-open in the run-up to Christmas has led to strong growth in Victorian job ad volumes. In the last four weeks, Victoria has had a 20-percentage point increase from 56% to 76% of job ads when compared to pre-COVID levels.

“This growth in job ads for Victoria in the last week brings job ad percentage levels to a similar level with New South Wales and the ACT. If job ads continue to trend upwards in line with restriction lifting, then we will see Victoria overtake New South Wales in terms of percentage of jobs compared to pre-COVID levels in the coming month. In the last fortnight, job ads in New South Wales were at 84% of pre-COVID levels and continues to climb steadily.”

This table shows the job ad volumes by state, and nationally, for the last three fortnights.

FIGURE ONE: SEEK new job ads by state for 2020

FIGURE TWO: SEEK new job ads nationally for 2020


Kendra Banks continues “Across Australia, roles in the Professional Services sector continue to have the furthest to recover with job ads at just 65% of pre-COVID levels. This explains some of why New South Wales, ACT and Victoria are lagging the other states as they had more Professional Services roles pre-COVID, mainly in the metro areas. For example, in February, Professional Services made up 34% of New South Wales’ sector mix, currently, that is 24%, and for Victoria, it was 27% and now 21%.”

“Professional Services roles are more traditionally office-based roles, contrary to operational roles where the link between customer and fulfilment is very close. When we experience a difficult economic outlook, businesses tend to hold off in recruiting the sorts of roles that make up Professional Services and so will take longer to regain ground.”

“The Consumer Services sector is at 89% of pre-COVID levels, and this should increase as restrictions for retail and hospitality ease in Victoria, as we fast approach the festive season.”

The other sectors of Industrial (112%), Public Service (106%) and Construction (99%) are close to or exceeding pre-COVID levels.

For a detailed description of roles within Professional Services and all other sectors, please see the Sector Breakdown on page four of this SEEK Employment Snapshot.

FIGURE THREE: Job ads nationally by sector for 2020

As reflected in Figure Three, this table shows the percentage of each sector for the last two weeks compared to pre-COVID levels.

TABLE THREE: Percentage of professional services roles by state comparing February to now (weeks 42 & 43).

For more employment insights or career advice please visit SEEK’s Hiring Advice or SEEK's Career Advice


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 fortnight, 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.

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.