After the challenges of last year, you may have had low expectations for the beginning of 2021. But while it will take some time for recovery, the good news is that now job ads are rising.
Nationally, job ads in January were 6.5% higher than the same time last year which was before COVID began impacting our lives. Promisingly, that trend carried across most of the states and territories as well, showing positive signs of recovery across the country.
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Trends across the country
While Victorians experienced a prolonged lockdown last year, the job market there is rebounding better than expected, with job ads showing a 1.8% increase on January 2020.
The trend continued across much of the country, with Queensland (16.3%), Western Australia (26.5%), South Australia (24.8%), Tasmania (42%) and Northern Territory (27.8%) seeing a year-on-year increase in job ad volumes.
NSW and ACT are closing the gap, but job ads were still lower year-on-year by 4.8% and 1.4% respectively. But, in a promising sign, they are both at the highest point for job ads since the pandemic began.
John Whitehead, Six Degrees Executive Director in Victoria says the bounce back has been stronger than expected, especially in Victoria.
“The November–January period saw a strong recovery and we were pleasantly surprised with how quickly the market bounced back after the lowest period of April to June,” he says.
“We’ve seen job flow almost back to pre-COVID levels across the board and, in some disciplines, such as Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Sales/Marketing and Supply Chain/Procurement, we are experiencing even higher levels than prior to the pandemic.”
Tradie roles on the rise
Jobs for Trades & Services rose strongly in many states in January, compared to their lowest point last year.
Electricians in Queensland saw 57% more job ads in January than in the lowest point last year. In Western Australia, they were up by 100%. Meanwhile, job ads for Carpenters in Victoria increased by 80%.
Kelly Van Nelson, Managing Director of Adecco Australia, says opportunities are looking up for talented tradespeople and that government investment in infrastructure is driving much of the demand.
“The demand for trades has been high for some time and it continues to be one of the top five sectors for growth that we are seeing,” Van Nelson says. "As trades and services are experiencing a skills shortage, if you have the right qualifications and work experience, you are going to stand out for the best roles in this sector.
“However, if your experience is limited, it is important to highlight any transferable skills you may have, plus any soft skills that you excel in. Areas such as resilience, problem solving, communication and working to deadlines are all qualities that are relevant in this field."
Marketing makes a come back
Australia’s economy is showing positive signs of recovery – and that’s good news for marketers, especially in the country’s biggest employer markets.
Compared to the low point last year, NSW saw rapid growth for general Marketing roles (117%) and Product Managers (103%), while Victoria recorded an increase for Digital Marketing Specialists (76%).
Alastair Pennie, Six Degrees Executive Director NSW, says the growth in Marketing roles reflects broader economic recovery.
“As soon as the economy bounces back, companies often start to bring marketing back to the top of the list to be invested in,” he says.
“Since mid-2020, we have seen a decent appetite for junior to mid-level sales and marketing roles, although less at the executive end. However, we anticipate a shift in 2021 as businesses are able to review the impact of COVID on consumer behaviour and how their strategy has to evolve with that change.”
If you’re looking for your next marketing role, Pennie recommends highlighting your digital experience.
“The pandemic has definitely accelerated a business need to drive e-commerce options, which is further accelerating the need for digital experience in almost all marketing roles,” he says.
After a year that made navigating the job market incredibly challenging for many people, 2021 has started with some positive signs of recovery. Looking to where job ads are growing may help you plan your next step.